Hive Desk…your new automated outsourcing tool. Anyone who has started outsourcing or wants to begin outsourcing will most likely have the same question come up in their minds…”how can I track my outsourced worker as they are working?” In other words…how do I know my outsourced worker is actually working during the times they submit?

For those that have used oDesk for their outsourced projects,  they provide a solution/service that will track your outsourced worker as they are working on their computer. But for those who were not using oDesk there was no way to track workers on how effectively and efficiently they are using their time.

Good news for those interested in this type program….

I recently was invited as a Beta tester for this new program called “Hive Desk.” Here’s how Hive Desk describes their service:

“HiveDesk makes outsourcing an easier process for both hirers and workers. It is a web and software solution used to help employers keep track of their workers by automatically tracking time and by sending periodic screenshot updates. This helps automate the flow of information from worker to boss, who are usually separated geographically.”

Basically this is how the system works:

Workers install  the desktop application software. The app runs quickly and quietly in the background. When ready to work, they use it to check in to your project.

Once an employee checks in, the timer starts. Their data is logged on their servers so you know how much time they’ve spent on your project. This mean accurate billing, and no time inflation.

It even has a option to allow a certain amount of  “idle” time (it is set at 5 minutes…but you can change it to your own needs or wants)

After 5 minutes of idle activity, the user is recognized as idle until they return. Idle minutes are subtracted so you’re not billed.

To keep you in the loop, screen shots of the desktop are uploaded and shared in ten minute intervals. Employees can delete screen shots at any time, but must provide reason with it.

So, why would people use HiveDesk?

  • Save money! No more wasting money on your dollar…or inflating the hours worked. You can also save fees on other outsourcing portals by migrating your team here.
  • Increasing information flow: With screenshots uploaded every 10 minutes, you will never be in the dark as to where you projects progress is. It also allows you to know immediately if something has been done wrong and it can be fixed without wasting anymore time.
  • Building trust and relationships: The point of HiveDesk is not to control or micro-manage your workers, but to help you to build trust and loyalty. Additionally, many times you must hand over personal information suech as private codes, and passwords etc. to strangers which is never a comfortable feeling. HiveDesk makes the process safer and easier.

Sounds pretty efficient doesn’t it? Honestly I have been poking around inside…looking at the options but I have not actually implemented it. I sort of have mixed emotions about it.

Although I think it is an excellent product and something that was definitely needed you must take care to evaluate your own situation. If you already have your outsourced worker in place and you don’t doubt any of the times they are submitting you may not want to upset the apple cart by asking them to download a new program that will track their time.

Some outsourced workers…if they are already in place and doing a great job will be offended by this move and see it as a “trust issue.” So, you must use judgment in each situation.

On the other hand, if you have not yet started your outsourcing journey, you may want to implement this from the start of your projects  and only hire someone who agrees to download and use this platform. Using it from the start will not offend anyone whereas I feel that if you try and implement it after the fact…you may run into some very disallusioned workers….thinking that you no longer trust them.

HiveDesk continues to grow and add new options. You will soon have the ability to pay your outsourced workers through their site too.

Is HiveDesk for you? Only you can make the decision about whether this program can add value to your business. Many use a similar thing in oDesk with great success…and, no problems.

My job is to bring you the information about new products and services…and, its up to you to evaluate your own situation and see if this works for you ;)

Remember, they are beta testing now so you can join free and see if this is something you will want to move forward with. It’s certainly worth your time to check out as it will cost you nothing and may be exactly what you need.

If anyone does decide to use it…I would love it if you would come back here and leave a comment and let us know how you like it ;)

Taking my 86 year old mom gambling today ;) She just loves those slot machines…and, she wins a lot too ;)

enJOY…don’t forget to take time to play today!

Kathy *

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