Monitoring Remote Workforce: The Need of the Hour

Remote working is not a new concept. It was popularized by workers looking for flexibility, productivity, and job satisfaction. According to the findings by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, in the last five years, remote work increased by 44%. It also found that in February 2020, about 4.7 million workers in the U.S were working remotely.

With the onset of the novel Coronavirus, many employers had to allow their workforce to work remotely to continue operations. Remote working became a necessity, and hence employers were not left with many options. Yet a concern lurking at the back of their mind was how to ensure employee productivity when they were out of sight? In a situation like this, employee monitoring software is the perfect solution.

Why Do Companies Need Employee Monitoring Software? (H1)

Companies can tackle the problems of productivity and security by bringing in several smart monitoring technologies like Flowtrack. Although intrusive, monitoring software is quite common and widely in use. With remote working on the rise, the use of employee monitoring software has also increased. It helps employers understand the online behavior of their employees. This includes knowing how productive they are and whether they are following the same level of security outside the office as they did in-house. A recent study revealed that about 30% of employee accounts were monitored ever since remote working was on the rise due to COVID 19.

The Advantages of Using Monitoring Software:

If you can explain the advantages of the monitoring software to your team, it will help them develop a growth mindset and help you use the software without any glitches. An effective employee time tracking software, for example, allows time management and helps prioritize tasks.  Here are some other advantages of monitoring software:

  • Boosts productivity.
  • Creates healthy competition in the team.
  • Allows accurate tracking of hours for fair billing of employees.

The Flip Side of Using Employee Monitoring Software:

Let’s accept it– Employee tracking software may not go down very well with the employees. Here’s why.

  • Employees may view their employers as overly intrusive.
  • It could lead to distrust if employers use spyware to read mails or if the management listens to calls of their employees.
  • At times, employers end up knowing more than necessary information about an employee. And, it can be personal information too.
  • If implemented without prior intimation, it could lead to a backlash.
  • In many countries, using employee monitoring software without intimation and consent is considered illegal.
  • It could lead to stress, employee underperformance, and attrition.

Employee Activity Monitoring and Its Impact On the Company Culture (H2)

Does the implementation of monitoring software impact the company’s culture? The truth is that, if properly executed, both can complement each other. To make the implementation effective, you may need to alter some of your company’s policies. This may affect your company’s culture. But, the change need not be a negative one. It can lead to many positive results. You can set up productivity trackers for teams and reward those who achieve targets regularly.

Besides, you can schedule different activities for the day. For instance, if you have a game room, you can get your teams to play table football and have a weekly tournament. Productivity trackers are not only about productivity. It’s also about building a team and helping them grow through effective tracking methods.

The Legal Side of Implementing Monitoring Software

Many may ask whether it is permissible to use monitoring software to track an employee when they are working from home. There are some laws governing this, and it is different for those in the public sector than those employed in the private sector. Employers need to have a written policy in place if they wish to monitor their employees. This policy keeps the employees in the loop so they understand that they may be monitored. Employees will not expect total privacy when they work for such companies.

Monitoring Personal Devices

It is easier to track employees using company devices, but it becomes complicated when employees use their personal devices for official work. For example, companies may ask employees to install mobile device managers to access company documents. This device manager creates a sandbox within which company documents get stored. If the employee loses his phone or leaves the organization, the latter can wipe their documents away from that employee’s phone without interfering with the employee’s personal information.

Intimating Surveillance to Employees: How and Why Is It Important? (H3)

When companies use video surveillance, they don’t need to explicitly inform their employees or get them to agree to the same. Visible signage around the premises stating that the place is monitored by cameras is enough to cover any legal or ethical tangles. When employees are aware that the premises are being monitored, they will be cautious. However, maintaining transparency is a good idea. Many employees may not be comfortable with the idea of being monitored. So it is good if you are open about how and why it is done. When they understand the reason, they will be willing to accept such methods of monitoring and tracking.

As technology advances, companies may find new ways to monitor employees. As new methods come into force, employers need to listen to their employees and review guidelines for monitoring employees.

It is always a good idea to put up signage stating your company’s policy about keeping away from using computers for personal use during office hours. You could also advise them to keep away from undesirable behavior without the need to be monitored overtly. Strive to achieve a balance between legitimate business interests and employee expectations towards privacy. You must also take into account regulatory norms, which are different across states and countries.

Monitoring Software Is Valuable If Put to Right Use

When remote working has become the new normal, monitoring employees using reliable HR platforms like HRAPP has become critical for many reasons. But it is also important that employees are kept in the loop and made to understand clearly why this is used to achieve the required benefits. If done without compliance, companies might get into legal entanglements. Hence, companies must align their culture with employee monitoring needs and alter policies, if required. In a remote working setup, monitoring software is imminent as it plays an important role in measuring the productivity levels of employees. Implement it today and see the difference!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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