Introduction to Employee Monitoring
As we enter into another year of dealing with the pandemic lingering around; the strategies to manage remote work have proven to be quite effective.
Global entities had to embrace remote work temporarily in an effort for safety or even as a good financial measure.
However, remote work monitoring is not an art that all companies have been able to ace right off the bat.
Since the last year, employees globally have started implementing employee monitoring for the following purposes:
- Build accountability as well as trust and remove inhibitions associated with work from home.
- Get an accuracy for the time spent on client projects which can help to maximize billing as well as rightly knowing the contribution of each employee.
- Understanding clearly how their resources are being used and strategizing for better budgeting.
- Additionally, customer happiness and efficiency for consumer service is required in certain remote work situations.
A lot of companies are finding that they can hire people based on talent and geographical boundaries are no more a challenge.
There are a lot of advantages to remote working which include a happier employee base and better work-life balance too.
But, with remote hiring increasing, managers and employers wish to implement full proof remote work employee monitoring structures that can help them with smooth functioning.
However, it is equally important to have an employee base that feels trusted. Nobody likes to be bound.
Extreme monitoring can lead to employees finding ways to slack off and can also decline their productivity.
So, employers need to hit the bull’s eye by finding the right way to strike balance between getting results and not crossing ethical lines. The following sections would uncover some more tactics about the same:
How technology can help keep things simple?
As per CNBC, large companies are likely to keep a check on their workers. Of course, with companies like Amazon, Swiggy, Dominos amongst others that run businesses based on employee speed efficiency; tracking is an inevitable part of work hours.
But, this report also suggested that about 80 percent of the largest companies keep an eye on the usage of the internet, phone, and email by employees.
Basically, some sort of surveillance is involved. Workers need to know that employers have an eye out for your activity while you are on the job.
This may seem like a normal scenario for most people. But, the challenge comes when your employer starts probing into your personal life.
Social media updates, activities become a matter of their concern. Even youtube videos streamed at leisure become a topic of interrogation.
However, having applications during remote work that can help the employer understand your productivity is definitely of great use.
So, for delivery based businesses- having location trackers are required. At the same time, for other remote workers – having instant messaging applications that keep the teams informed of their whereabouts during work hours can really help.
Of course, working from home cannot ensure 8 hours of work by employees without any breaks. But, if a sudden check during these breaks is met with non-responsiveness; then it can definitely create trouble for the employee.
In that case, monitoring by the employer is completely justified. Some measures that can help with ethical remote work employee monitoring include:
- Have the location feature compulsorily ON during work hours for employees.
- Inculcate a log-in-log-out structure; along with instant messaging apps to make the managers and peers aware of the breaks that employees take.
- Use collaborative tools that can help understand the contribution of each member. (For instance, google drive helps you understand the changes made by each account)
How technology can be misused: Measures to be taken
While technology connects us, there are certain signs of technology misuse that are as follows:
- Not responding to mails for long stretches
- Being unavailable for work conferences
- Feigning loss of data or making excuses for delayed deliveries consistently
- Unable to meet deadlines on time
- Taking more than an acceptable duration to understand the new working structure
But, having a proper structure- giving a stipulated data only and having a proper application in place for team communication can surely help in making remote work as simple as ever!
The most ideal solution to tackle this problem with a proper approach is by having a set structure during work hours.
It’s best to avoid extreme monitoring in terms of when employees are using social media and confronting them for the same. Additionally, tracking their personal mails is also a big no-no.
Definitely, keeping an eye out on work-related collaterals and devices is completely fine! This can include data provided, apps used on the company devices too to understand whether employees are misusing the resources provided to them.
At the same time, depending on the kind of work; certain permitted recreational apps should be allowed.
Employers have several applications and tools at their disposal to determine if employees are actually abusing remote work privileges.
Minute-to-minute monitoring is unthinkable, and expecting employees to be productive constantly is not really too!
However, an overview about the work hours and deadlines met properly should not probe any extreme employee monitoring.
Keeping a technological touch to it helps employees also understand where they are slacking. A balanced approach to employee monitoring- that does not cross personal boundaries is the key, and the right tools can help get by with the same.