Remote Working or ‘Work from Home’ has become the new normal and we have all accepted it with open hearts. We are sitting at home all day, concentrating on our designated professional duties. When working from home, it becomes one of the duties of our authorities, like bosses and managers to keep ‘an eye’ on us. Whenever the topic of ‘employee monitoring’ comes up, the employers nod their heads with acknowledgement, but the employees can’t help but frown. It is a common misconception that the employees are monitored because the employers have trust issues. However, installing employee monitoring and management software can often be advantageous to the employees themselves.
For business, employee monitoring refers to streamlining processes and improving employee proficiency. But for employees, it leads to thoughts of mistrust. These kinds of negative thoughts arouse if the employees are not aware of the benefits of employee monitoring. Before applying the monitoring procedures in the business, it is advisable to let the employees know of such systems beforehand.
Employee Monitoring is important and essential not only to the employers but also to the employees. Scroll down to clear your doubts.
What is Employee Monitoring?
“Employee Monitoring allows a business to track employee activities and monitor worker engagement with workplace-related tasks. A business using employee monitoring on a computer can measure productivity, track attendance, ensure security and collect proof of hours worked.” In this digital era, employee monitoring can be implemented using advanced technological tools and the Internet. Surveillance on the employees is not a new concept, rather quite an old one. The timesheet was invented as early as in 1888. Digitalization and developed software make the process seamless and effective. Through employee monitoring, the organizations can track not only productivity but also things like:
- Screen sharing and recording
- Email exchanges
- Internet Usage
- Applications Usage
- Sites Opened During Work
- Phone Usage
- GPS Tracking
- Video/Audio Surveillance
- Preventing Security Breach in ‘Real Time’
Employee Monitoring is a kind of law or regulation or you can say as some kind of organizational code of conduct, to maintain discipline among the employees. There are some employees who are serious and work diligently, while there are also some of them who tend to procrastinate and feign professional responsibilities. Employee Monitoring helps to maintain transparency in the organizational roles and duties, boosting productivity to a great extent.
Importance of Employee Monitoring to Employers
The employers use the employee monitoring technique and software to implement a digital eye, and in this case, it is the third eye. Like the concept of ‘third eye’, this digital eye can prevent the employees from sleeping on their work. The efficiency of the employees has a direct impact on the business, and so it is crucial to be vigilant about the professional duties and responsibilities carried out by the employees during the work hours, outside the office premises. To maintain transparency amid the organizational hierarchies, and to avoid miscommunication, employee monitoring is essential. Let us see some of the ways in which the employers benefit from the digitalized employee surveillance methods.
- Employers can find mistakes, and give timely solutions: When you, as an employer, have your eyes and ears open for the tasks performed by your employees, you can find the mistakes as soon as they happen. Employee monitoring makes it easy to watch out for any error that may take place during the official hours, outside the workplace. The moment you detect an error committed by any of your employees, you can get in touch with him immediately and sort it out. Had it not been there, you would have detected the mistake much later, and that might have jeopardized your business in some way or the other. The employee monitoring system can be an effective evidence-gathering tool, as the mistakes or errors can help the employees to better and develop themselves in future, to avoid repeating the mistakes. You, as an employer, can guide them in this endeavour for productive and positive work culture.
- Improving Employer-Employee Relationship: The monitoring or surveillance can foster a strong professional relationship between the employee and employer. They are better connected and more transparent in their approach. When you as an employer, notice any error or mistake, you can keep a note of the same and discuss the issue with the concerned employee at the right time. Instead of pouncing immediately on the employee, you can discuss the matter, maybe at the end of the day. Being connected improves organizational communication, keeping away the barriers. You can understand the strengths and weakness of the employees. This will, in turn, give you the insight to cope with the shortcomings in the business. Employee monitoring helps you to spot not only the errors made by them but also the things they are doing right. Appreciation boosts productivity and motivation among employees, thus nurturing an agile workforce.
- Monitor Employee Compliance and Efficiency: Ensuring that your employees are not violating company rules and policies can be challenging especially if you have a large organization. The employee monitoring tools and software can detect any security breach or any such related issues the moment it is taking place. The tools gather evidence of whatever the employees are doing, by capturing snapshots etc. Not everyone has the same level of professional ethics and moral code of conduct. There will be dishonest and inefficient employees who can be detrimental to your organization. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your employees are compliant and competent. In this era of remote working, keeping an eye can be a difficult task. But using the right technology and software can solve your purpose effectively. When employees know that the management is monitoring their course of action and tasks, they tend to be more attentive, and less distracted. This improves the overall productivity of the business.
Importance of Employee Monitoring to Employees
The employees often tend to be angry and resentful when it comes to employee monitoring. They think that it is implemented because the authorities have trust issues. In remote working, where the employees work outside the employers’ premises, monitoring can be challenging. But this must be present for not only the satisfaction of the employers but also for the benefit of the employees. If the employees are having low productivity and not serious about respecting the professional duties, then they will end up harming the business. Business losses will, in turn, jeopardize their job security. From the holistic approach, employee monitoring is crucial for organizational wellbeing.
- Better evaluation of personal productivity: Do you, as an employee, know when you are most productive in a day? Via the employee monitoring apps and tools, you can see when you are most productive in a day. If you know your productive hours, you can schedule your work accordingly. For example, if you are most productive during the day then you can start with the most important tasks in the morning, and schedule the meetings in the afternoon. You can analyze your efficiency, by seeing the task performance captured by the employee monitoring tools. You can also track your activity and the time spent for a particular task. There are apps that can track your time spent for each task, the time you are idle with your desktop or laptop, the time you need to take a break for your lunch or just a coffee. Tracking time helps you deal with time management efficiently. For example, you have to clock for 9 hours a day. It is not possible to sit for 9 hours at a stretch. You can stop the timer when you need a break and restart it when you continue with your work. This way, you can manage the efficiency and speed of your work. Time management is crucial for managing a task at hand and contribute effectively towards the business.
- Flexible shifts as per your convenience: When it comes to remote working, several large organizations and small businesses are implementing flexible time shifts for the remote workers. In the office, there used to be a particular shift, a stipulated time, and you had to reach the office by the given time to avoid getting late. But now that you are working from home, the strict shifts are becoming lenient, giving you the option to work as per your convenience. When you are at home, it can be challenging to maintain harmony between the professional and personal duties under the same roof. The employee monitoring tools can track your productivity whenever you are deciding to sit with your official duties. It can be 9.00 AM or 10.00 AM, does not matter. No matter when you start or wrap up your daily professional duties, the productivity matters. The quality of work is given preference over the number of hours. In work from home scenarios, the employees can concentrate on their work without any tension and physical exhaustion caused by the daily commute.
- Maintain transparency of work and better connectivity: There are instances when the credit of an employee is stolen by a fellow competitor. Workplace politics can hamper employee morale to a great extent. In this case, employee productivity is visible to the employer, and this helps in getting positive feedback from the manager. The monitoring apps keep the employee and the employer connected, thus solving issues whenever they are cropping up. The employees can be reviewed regularly via the monitoring tools and software, thus steering them to maintain agility. The employees can track their task performance and work for a better future. The monitoring tools save data, thus nullifying the chance of spreading misinformation and biased feedback. The employees can address their concerns immediately, instead of waiting for the annual review meet up. Improving employee experience has been the central concern of organizations across the world.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic, The Future of Work has undergone some radical shifts. The organizations around the world are remodelling the existent business structures to suit the changing times. In such a scenario, the companies pertaining to all the industries, like retail, education, finance etc have opted for work from home. The employee monitoring tools are implemented to maintain an agile and productive workforce for optimizing business growth during hard times. Cooperative and collaborative work culture must be fostered for both professional and personal wellbeing.