Detecting Cheating in the Workplace

Detecting Cheating in the Workplace

Not all time tracking tools are equally effective against employees' unproductivity, and today's client's case serves as proof.

A mobile app developing startup reached us with the following problem: their customer support showed low productivity. When the company was starting out, only one employee was responsible for support. He was one of the tech specialists who developed the application; he dealt with client requests in between his programmer tasks. As their application gained popularity and the number of clients' requests grew, the company hired two technical support agents. Since the agents were going to work remotely, the head of the company obliged them to install a time-tracking solution for accountability. The chosen time-tracking tool was simple and could not boast of the large variety of features, but the director thought it would be enough for the purpose.

Practice showed that the chosen solution was ineffective. The tool always recorded 100% productivity, but when the head checked the status of tickets, he noticed that some were left open and unanswered for days. The overall number of closed tickets left much to be desired. Before hiring additional support staff, the head decided to monitor the employees' productivity more closely.

Monitoring with CleverControl revealed that the support agents were cheating the first time-tracking solution. They opened Microsoft Word, put a heavy object such as a book or a mug on the keyboard and went about their business. Since Word was considered a productive application by a time-tracking tool, productivity statistics were always high, but the employees' real value to the company tended towards zero. The time-tracking solution did not allow seeing what the employees typed in Word.

CleverControl was not so easy to cheat. The software recorded all the keystrokes and applications used on the computer. Meaningless key log lines and five hours of Microsoft Word per day when the employee was not supposed to work in Word immediately caught the director's attention. Activity logs and checking Live Viewing at random times of the day helped him figure out that the support agents worked only three to four hours in the morning at best. When the director provided these logs to the employees and asked for explanations, they confessed that they were tricking the monitoring system. Of course, such behaviour was unacceptable, and both support agents were fired.

The company continued using CleverControl for monitoring their remote staff: new support agents and the Android developer.

Essential Features:

  • Keylogging
    Recording keystrokes revealed that the employees tried to cheat the monitoring system instead of working.
  • Programs activity
    CleverControl recorded that the employees used Word most of the time, although they were supposed to work in the ticket system and other applications. It was another proof of cheating.
  • Live Viewing
    By checking live streams of the employee's screens, the director learned that the employees were absent from their computers most of the workday.