Monday, February 25, 2008

RescueTime: For Business

RescueTime, like Slife and Wakoopa, is a web-based service that allows you to track your own system events. The idea is that you can get a close account of what you do on your system, where most of your time is going, and -- theoretically -- how much you should increase or cut back on certain activities. Whereas Wakoopa is all about sharing this information with others, RescueTime has been closed, available only to the user.

Yesterday RescueTime announced that they are launching RescueTime for Business, a way to monitor system events across teams. Here's the copy:

RescueTime for Business offers you a low-cost and effort-free way to understand how your team is spending their time. RescueTime for Business offers you the ability to:

  • Utilize a variety of privacy options to help you respect your employees.
  • Understand your team's productivity trends.  Were they more or less productive 6 months ago?
  • Understand how changes in the work environment affect productivity.
  • Understand how staffing, organization, and management changes affect productivity.
  • Know which software packages and web applications are being used...  And which are collecting dust on the virtual shelf.
  • See how telecommuting affects individual and team productivity. Great for workstreaming!
The copy goes on to discuss collaborative time management, sounding an awful lot like some of the things Mark Zachry, Bill Hart-Davidson and I have been saying in our SIGDOC papers:

While an understanding of how your team spends their time can help you manage, passing that understanding on to your team can have staggering implications on their productivity.

RT4B could be leveraged by managers who are eager for a more panoptic view of work. But it's just as likely to be used by teams who want a more, er, "agoric" view of each others' work so that they can collectively examine work practices. It'll be interesting to see who adopts RT4B and how they use it.

RescueTime: For Business

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1 comment:

Tony Wright said...

Hey there-

Thanks for mentioning us. We're pretty encouraged by the RT4B signup so far (we love that abbreviation, by the way).

After a person signs up for the biz offering we have a short voluntary survey about employee privacy-- and the answers are REALLY encouraging. People seem to get it. Monitoring an individual employees time can be destructive, but giving people the tools to see their own (and the group at large) can really help.