And what enables the accountability on either side (employees or contractor/freelancers accountability of the billed time and the employer’s approval of the hours billed) is the services and products offered by oDesk.
If you have not heard about how oDesk works then in a nutshell it is like having your boss peak in behind you around 6 times an hour to glance at your computer screen! Alright, alright almost everyone who hears this explanation is bound to roll his/her eyes, but what the electronic monitoring feature of oDesk does is that it takes computer screen shots randomly six times an hour.
Invasive, micromanagement, violating.. maybe; but in the long run if it gets the employers happy and there is no fuss in handing over the money you have billed them for your assigned work; or for the employers to get work done with minimum distractions then why not? Further more, it also builds on the trust and reliance towards the remote employees.
“By clocking working hours, taking screenshots, tracking keystrokes and mouse clicks, MonkeyMonitor is a simple tool that provides the missing link between Mr Boss-Man and the virtual team.” That’s what they say on their website. If you have tried this solution pls do share your thoughts in comments below.
Some of the easiest methods for better remote employee interaction are also free – think Skype and WebEx. In the long run changing the mind set to “interaction” than “monitoring” lands a better rapport on both side.
These are a few solutions out there and I am sure there are more around and if not then sure enough some related solutions would be in the market soon. They better be because outsourcing, remote contracting jobs and telecommuting are the workplace trends of this century.