Employee monitoring is a practice of using different means of surveillance to collect data about employee performance, location, computer use, etc.
If you’re concerned your employees are wasting too much time at work, or you suspect they’re sharing business secrets with outsiders, you should definitely think about getting an employee monitoring software or another form of employee surveillance that can help you out.
Employee monitoring and surveillance has been around for a long time. However, as technology and society developed, the monitoring practices changed. Once could even argue they became too severe.
While there are some very “Black Mirror” monitoring practices which would make Orwell’s 1984 seem like a child’s game, there are other, non-intrusive methods that can still help you ensure your workers are productive and efficient.
In this article, we’ll explore several means of employee tracking, what they include, as well as how severe they are.
Most corporations have them nowadays. It’s impossible for an employee to move around the building without a keycard.
Each card contains a chip, and once the card is swiped at the door, the system recognizes if the employee in question has access to that part of the building. If they do, the door will open, otherwise the employee won’t be able to enter, or they could even trip some kind of an alarm system.
The software behind the keycard chips shows when each employee came to work, as well as in which part of the building they are at the moment.
Keycards are good for tracking punctuality and attendance. Additionally, if there was a suspicious incident in the building, you can always go back to the logs and see who was in the vicinity.
However, if you opt-in for this type of employee monitoring, don’t forget that the fact an employee came to office at 8:45 AM doesn’t mean they started working at 9:00.
Video surveillance is another common type of monitoring. However, it is rather used for security reasons than for actually monitoring employee computer activity. Even some studies have shown that most employers are using video surveillance to prevent theft, violence or sabotage. A very small portion of companies uses video to track performance because in most industries it’s virtually impossible.
In some countries, video surveillance is even a requirement, and all employers must have it in order to follow health and safety procedures. Anyways, we believe that we can all agree that CCTV is very helpful and much needed in all workplaces.
Computer network monitoring is used to track the traffic that comes and goes from the company’s network. Organizations usually use a firewall or router that scans content and email addresses that are used on the network.
Essentially these programs are able to recognize malicious data, infected computers, and any network activity that is out of the ordinary.
Depending on the software, you could even track who’s accessing which files. Additionally, you can see who edited or downloaded documents on the network.
Work email isn’t private and it shouldn’t be used for private matters under any circumstances. Most companies use email hosting services, and usually they have admin access which allows you or your IT team to check up on the emails.
Another thing that is quite popular when it comes to monitoring employee emails is actually filtering the emails before they even reach the inbox of anyone in the company. This is a great way to cut down bandwidth and security risks, but employers should be aware that some emails could be seen as spam even if they aren’t. Therefore, the filtered messages should be checked from time to time, in case one of your client’s emails ended up in the spam by accident.
Data loss prevention (DLP) solutions are mainly security related. They allow you to keep your data safe and protected. It’s not employee tracking in a true sense of the word. But given that it can still detect who accessed, edited or downloaded files, it could be looked at as an employee tracking program.
These tools are praised because they help detect and prevent data breaches. Yet, because of the nature of their work, they can be quite expensive and possibly intrusive on the employees.
Employee Monitoring Software
And last but not the least, our favourite way of monitoring - employee tracking software. There are so many different tracking tools nowadays, and various features these tools have.
It starts with basic time tracking options, while a bit more advanced tools have options of tracking app and website usage, productive and unproductive activities, and so on.
As the time goes by this type of monitoring software is becoming more popular, and for a good reason! It helps organizations boost productivity, manage their time and projects in an easier way, as well as improve on cost calculations.