7 Steps to Boost Your Team’s Productivity – Using RescueTime Team Edition

It’s becoming increasingly common and even necessary to measure the productivity of your knowledge workers, either locally staffed or remote. You can ask your employees to complete timesheets and lengthy status emails, but do you really know how your company’s human asset is being spent? You want to optimize your team’s time for their sake and yours– but when people try to enter their own time, they are at best mostly inaccurate, even with good intentions. RescueTime Team Edition gives you and your employees a very high level of detailed information with minimal or no data entry.

1. Sign up for RescueTime Team Edition. 14 day Free Trial with no setup fees. This will get you started quickly. http://www.rescuetime.com/signup/team/empower

2. Add Some Users From Your Team. If you didn’t during the setup process, add users to your account through Settings -> Add Users. It sends them an email to walk them through their personalized setup. As your users get setup, you can continue fine tuning the administrative settings such as custom categories, adjustments to what gets monitored, monitoring schedules and group management. I recommend that new organizations try to have their users in Open Mode with a 24×7 Monitoring Schedule. Remember, categorizations and re-scoring applies to each group separately– so your Sales team doesn’t have the same settings as your Development group. Open mode gives the users in your organization the ability to turn on, off and pause the RescueTime data collector. When a user is done working simply choose “Pause until tomorrow”, and we ignore activities until his/her next day of work. Giving users control over their RescueTime experience as part of the information sharing experience.

Manage Users in RescueTime

3. Set goals and workplace policy about leisure surfing and other activities. Goals are on the right hand menu under Settings -> Goals. Positive goals are great– You can acknowledge those who reach impressive results like 4 or more hours of solid productive work in a day. Give your team some guidelines on what activities are Productive and some common sense about leisure surfing while at work. At RescueTime HQs we have goals set at 5 hours of Productivity each day and we encourage light leisure surfing to less than an 1 hour a day.

RescueTime Goals

4. Spend time categorizing which sites are Productive versus those that are Unproductive; Go to Time Reports -> Activities. Facebook.com is the obvious example that gets a default of “Very unproductive”. Maybe you are social marketing firm who runs on Facebook, you can re-score it to be Productive. Your choice here is an “it’s like this most of the time” consideration. You should also decide whether Email is Productive or Neutral for your organization. For example, Developers often find Email neutral and time spent coding is productive.

Managing Scores in RescueTime

5. Set up your Offline Time options. Go to Settings -> Monitoring. This will allow your team to classify work after they have stepped away. You get 6 options. Some suggestions would include: Meeting, Phone Call, Food, Personal, Other Work. Android smartphone or tablet users can run the mobile app, and have unlimited custom offline time input, including an easy “stopwatch” interface.

Offline Time

6. Quickly scan to see who’s active in a group and who might be stuck. Use the Attendance Time Report seen below.

Attendance Report

7. Know what your Team is doing at all times. Review the All Activities graph for all team members. You can sort by employee and duration: day, week or year.

All Activities


Now that you have everything setup and running for your team I would recommend that you collect at least 2 weeks of data before making any changes based on what RescueTime is reporting. We strongly believe in our users that if you give them the data to help make them more productive they will take those actions and change – we can guarantee your team will boost their productivity . Get started today – http://www.rescuetime.com/signup/team/empower.