Pros and cons of employee monitoring are a highly debatable topic among employees and employers alike. Usually, the workers are complaining against staff tracking, while the managers and bosses are those defending the software for monitoring computer usage.
Yet, if you dig a little deeper, and talk to employees whose companies are using tracking software, you’ll find out that not all workers are against monitoring. When companies take necessary steps to ensure their employees aren’t threatened by such practices, everyone ends up happy.
Today we’re exploring 7 pros and 4 cons of employee tracking software, to try and address any concerns you might have.
Advantages of Employee Monitoring
It’s not a fluke that every employee monitoring software manufacturer ever talks about increased productivity on their website. It’s true!
As we found out when we surveyed our clients, in remote teams productivity grew by 26%, while office workers were 32% more productive.
Our experience has shown that there is a huge productivity boost within the first 10-30 days after the implementation. It’s because of deterrence. Employees go back to their old habits after a while, and then there’s a certain drop, but it’s never as low as it was then the companies first started using our software.
Insider data breaches account for more than 60% of all data breaches! More than half of them are unintentional, but they could cost you millions of dollars.
With some employee tracking software you can see which employees accessed which files. Additionally, some tools will even notify you when they register large data downloads, breaches, or malicious apps.
Improved Resource Allocation
After some time, analytics dashboard within the employee monitoring app will show you which teams and employees perform more productively and efficiently. Knowing this can help you better allocate your next project.
Having an overview of everyone’s daily activities will also give you better insight into who are your busiest employees, so you’ll avoid piling up more work for them.
You’ll also have everyone’s working hours in one place, and payroll calculation will be fully automated. Besides employees hours, you’ll be able to track billable hours for your clients with perfect accuracy. It’s a simple, effective way for everyone to get paid fairly.
Enhanced Employee Evaluations
How many times did you start preparing for employee evaluations just a few days ahead of scheduled meetings? Running around the office, going back to past projects to check what your employees have done takes up a lot of time.
With a staff tracking software, you can easily access all activity data going back MONTHS to see what the evaluated employee was up to. Furthermore, you’ll be able to deliver a more objective evaluation, thanks to data the software provides.
It’s good for employees too… They get fair appraisals that could lead to their promotions, bonuses, or other rewards. And because they also have access to their own data, they can take it at any time and request a salary bump or a promotion.
In the event that a freelancer tries to take more money from you than they should, you can always go back to their records and check how much productive time did they have exactly.
Additionally, if your clients ever question your billable hours or try to serve you with a lawsuit over this, you have proof of work which is extremely valuable.
And it’s not only the outsiders that can sue you. With some of the more advanced employee monitoring apps you can get ahead of office misconduct of any kind.
EU Members - Helping with Abiding the Law
This one’s for the companies who have workers in the EU - according to a recent ruling, employers must track time and attendance in order to stay compliant with the EU Work Time Directive.
Time and attendance sheets most monitoring tools provide can save you thousands of euros in fines, not to mention the costs of possible lawsuits.
Improved Corporate Culture
Contrary to the popular belief - employee monitoring can improve culture. If the implementation of PC monitoring software was carried out in a transparent way, and if you’re abiding the law as well as following the best practices related to monitoring - your company culture should thrive!
Accepting transparency, imperfections and a positive attitude towards staff tracking can bring your team closer, help you understand your advantages and disadvantages. All of this will result in stronger relationships, better understanding of your challenges and ways to overcome them, as well as all points of improvement within your organization.
Disadvantages of Employee Monitoring:
Employee Privacy Issues
Privacy, monitoring and wiretap laws are there for a reason - to protect everyone’s right to privacy. Workers are afraid that computer monitoring tools are an invasion to their privacy. And to some extent, they aren’t actually wrong. However, it depends on the way you, as an employer approach employee monitoring practices.
Some countries have very strict laws when it comes to monitoring, and employers must abide by them. Unfortunately, the case is that some don’t, and that same laws do have loopholes which can be easily used to the employer’s advantage.
Ethics of Employee Monitoring
Is employee monitoring ethical? Since the dawn of monitoring this has been a widely discussed topic. There’s no short answer to such questions as it depends on many different factors.
To what extent are you tracking the employees? Do they know about the tracking? What will you use the data for? What happens when the software takes a screenshot of someone’s bank account details?
Whether your company finds employee tracking tools to be ethical or not will depend on your corporate culture. And the best way to get an answer to if what you’re doing is ethical is to answer one question - why do you want to use programs to monitor employees computers?
Privacy concerns bring up legal issues, especially if you’re working through the loopholes. Many different laws and legislations are related to tracking, so you need to equip yourself with a legal team. This is extremely important for remote teams - laws and regulations are different in every country, and you’ll need to pay attention to all of them.
Can Damage Relationships with Employees (if Not Done Properly)
There’s a certain way to implement the computer activity software, and if you don’t do it that way you can heavily damage the relationship with your employees for good.
Monitoring can cause distrust, elevate stress levels and possibly cause high employee turnover.
However, as all the cons listed here, it can be avoided with transparency and by doing everything by the book.
As you can see benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Additionally, all cons are easily avoidable if you’re willing to work for it a bit harder. So, what’s stopping you from getting an employee computer monitoring software?