Workplace surveillance practices are now quite common among commercial organizations around the world. Companies are legally viable to use monitoring software on business computers, check on employees through surveillance cameras, evaluate their attentiveness at work, track physical movements with geolocation tools, keep tabs on the visited sites and running applications, monitor office emails as well as social media activities, and summarize productivity data regarding how the employees spend their time in a given time or how much time it takes them to finish a particular task.
The demand for employee monitoring tools has gone higher after the appearance of COVID-19, as it forced people to work from home. Remote work blurred the boundary between the business and personal activities at home; people now spent a considerable amount of time on company devices for business calls and other activities even on weekends. Features of employee monitoring tools can raise concerns among workers, so proper use of these platforms is also a major thing to discuss. That being said, let’s see how different types of employee monitoring tools help to simplify the monitoring of employees.
When the business activities run in the ordinary course and consist of using office equipment and internal network, they become subject to monitoring. Both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Stored Communications Act allow businesses to track employee activities without showing prior notice, though the level of allowable oversight can vary from state to state. The variation is also visible in what jurisdictions allow.
Matt Pinsker, adjunct professor of homeland security and criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University, showed his support for the employee monitoring methods. In his words, employees should have little expectation of privacy while working on the organizational property or using their equipment.
Employee monitoring software
Remote employee monitoring software enabling business leaders to track employee activities and to know how quickly they complete each task, despite their physical locations. The software keeps records of employee work hours and shows productive and idle times of individual employees in a given time.
Employees also get to work flexible hours with this tool, which is important for remote workers. For accurate monitoring of employees, this tool provides all the major features and helps to know how devoted an employee is to work.
Employee attention tracking
Worker attentiveness is easy to track with the webcam. Employee monitoring software helps to do so by sending periodic pop-ups to the computers. The feature helps to evaluate if people are attentive while at work and provides resources to take disciplinary actions when needed.
Web browsing and app usage
Many firms rely on an employee monitoring system to keep tabs on the visited sites and running apps. It allows companies to understand browsing behavior and check if anyone wastes time on irrelevant sites. Monitoring app usage also helps businesses to measure productivity and stay policy compliant.
Monitoring of employees through geolocation tracking
Company-given smartphones come with a geolocation feature that allows tracking physical movements and location of workers. It can show nearby equipment locations and track the time spent on it. The combination of timelines and physical locations works as a powerful tool and plays a major role in the monitoring of employees.
Tasks collaboration tools
The number of organizations utilizing collaboration tools is ever-increasing due to their influence in internal communications. They come with various features, like the option to send private messages to one another, comment on others’ projects, share soft copies of memos, files, reports, and approve letters. These activities are part of ordinary business processes, and when done on company equipment, they are monitored by higher authorities.
Employee monitoring methods should be clear on their data sharing rules. For example, how much data is available to an immediate, mid, or top-level supervisor, and under what circumstances. What actions are they able to take with that information? You should also establish clear policies on whether employee consent is required for disclosing such information. When you have an open and accessible guideline for monitoring policies, simplifying employee monitoring through tech becomes easier.