How Employers Monitor Employees and Employees Bypass Monitoring
Productivity means different things to different people, but it usually refers to the ratio of output relative to input. For employees, productivity can mean the amount of money they make for their company or the amount of time they spend at work without slacking off. Whatever definition you use, productivity matters because employers and employees both have an interest in maximizing it. Having a clear picture of what the employees are working on every day is important to employers. Some businesses use employee monitoring software to gauge employee productivity. This article will explore why productivity matters to both parties, as well as how each party can increase productivity through specific actions, such as monitoring employees and avoiding management monitoring.
SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EMPLOYERS MONITOR EMPLOYEES?
When employers monitor employees, they have the opportunity to work with their most productive workers while nipping time-wasting behaviors in the bud. But how do employers know if an employee is not doing their job? One way of knowing is by monitoring internet use or downloading suspicious tracking files on company machines. Another option for employers to track employees’ productivity is with reliable CleverControl’s automated employee monitoring software. With this program, employers can remotely log into their monitoring dashboard from anywhere and see what programs are being used on employees’ computers. They can also see when a computer was last active and remotely lock out the user from accessing any resources until it has been unlocked by the administrator.
Methods of Workplace Monitoring
Employers want their employees to be as productive as possible. Why is this important? There are multiple factors that go into how employers monitor productivity, from how many hours of work the employee logs in a day to how effectively they get things done on the job. When it comes to detecting unproductive time at work, employers have access to plenty of data that helps them monitor it, like when an employee opens or closes an application or whether they seem too focused on unrelated tasks. With technological improvements over the last two decades, there is an abundance of techniques to monitor personnel. Let's take a look at some of the most popular ways businesses do workplace monitoring:
Employers have the ability to monitor or record phone conversations on company phones, even personal calls. While the ECPA permits this, several jurisdictions require that both parties be informed of the monitoring, either through a message or a memoir. To avoid this, most employees use a phone that is not provided by their employer or use a private line.
Employers can utilize software that allows them to inspect hard drives and even watch keystrokes on employees' computers while they are in use to estimate productivity. In most cases, this is permissible because the equipment belongs to the employer.To get around it employee result to using proxy servers that allow one to change the IP address of the internet connection, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to bypass firewalls and protect data when using the employer's network, or web browsers that disguise their IP identity on the web.
Employers can monitor conversations made on mobile devices provided to their employees, such as cell phones, smartphones, and laptop computers. This is mostly possible when an employee is using the employee's assigned phone though some employers go to extent of monitoring the employee's personal.
Employers can monitor email communications when they provide email services that an employer is using. In some instances, private email accounts can be monitored. To get around this some employee goes so far as to open new email accounts with non-work-related emails.
Employers may monitor employees' social media activities, and there are no regulations barring this form of monitoring. Some businesses have social media rules that allow them to discipline employees who share particular information on social media networks. As a result, many employees set up secondary social media profiles with pseudonames and nicknames that are only known to them and their close acquaintances.
Video surveillance with CCTV or IP cameras is a widespread method of preventing theft and increasing productivity in the office. Though, it is not permitted to monitor areas such as the locker room and bathrooms. It is one of the most popular methods of staff monitoring. This is present in even the smallest of businesses. Given that employees typically find it difficult to go around this, it has proven to be highly effective.
This is a very new form of monitoring. Employers use global positioning systems in company-owned automobiles to track their employees' whereabouts.That many employers can tell where an employee is on the phone location and vehicle movement. Because the vehicle is owned by the employer, it is fully legal, though new laws may emerge as the approach grows more popular.To get around this monitoring technique, some people turn off the GPS on their phones while they are not at work. Some Employees are typically reported not using their official automobiles to avoid this.
BENEFITS OF MONITORING
In terms of efficiency, workplace surveillance could drastically reduce financial expenditures for businesses. The magnitude of potential productivity losses for a company with 500 employees accessing the Internet for only a half hour a day is about one million dollars yearly according to Economists.
Aside from increasing productivity, tracking staff may be the only and most effective approach to defend your business. As in many situations, monitoring employee conduct can be the only regulatory shield or defense available to a corporation.
CONS OF MONITORING
As we can see, employing employee monitoring measures has significant and tangible advantages. But what firms gain in efficiency could lose in engagement and trust, especially if the business isn't honest about how they are monitoring workers
This involvement and trust can be harmed further if employees regard the entire surveillance system as threatening not only their privacy but also their careers. When your employees believe they are constantly being watched and that their career future is dependent on how well they conform to the "Big Brother" environment, their morale will crumble like a wall of cards.
The following are some of the consequences of regular monitoring in your organization:
Humans are being reduced to numbers.
Increasing occupational stress.
Forcing the same working habits.
Morale is being destroyed, and there is a high turnover rate.
By introducing any of the above concerns into your corporation, you are on your road to developing a toxic workplace culture. As a result, as a manager, you must constantly examine your monitoring operations and ask some of the following questions: Have we gone too far in our surveillance efforts?Do we have a strong ethical foundation in place to address the challenges of privacy?Are we communicating with our staff in an open and honest manner?Are we communicating openly with our employees?Are breaks included in the productivity of my business?How significant are the benefits of my monitoring activities? Do I really need them?
Given the foregoing, if you want to have a good employee monitoring and control system in your firm, you must monitor and update it on a regular basis.
In the age of technology, it's easy to communicate, collaborate and have access to data from a device you have with you at all times. Despite this, the reality is employees spend more time on social media than they do on business-related tasks such as emailing or conducting web research. Despite being aware of this, employers remain powerless in monitoring their employees' usage of these devices for fear of infringing on their privacy. The question becomes how to balance personal time with work time when one doesn't know what the other looks like. What if there was a way that employers could track productivity while maintaining employee privacy? Recent innovations in software can allow employers to monitor an employee's computer usage by analyzing mouse movements, keystrokes, and document typing rates. Not only does this allow managers to see where employees are spending their time but also which specific applications are being used. While employers may still need to manage their expectations of an office environment for example taking into account lunch breaks or meetings, knowing where people spend most of their day will be helpful in maximizing productivity.