The Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring Software
With remote work becoming increasingly common these days, many businesses have also purchased employee monitoring software to improve productivity and distanced teamwork. If you’ve been thinking about using such software for your company, here’s what you should know.
The benefits of employee monitoring software include enhanced productivity, better cooperation between workers, opportunities for optimization, and more control over the working process. The downsides, however, are a lack of privacy and trust for workers, as well as possible legal issues.
In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of employee monitoring software to help you decide whether your business can benefit from this technology. I will also give you advice on how to implement such software in the most ethical and effective way, as well as introduce the products you can consider.
The Pros of Employee Monitoring Software
It has been proven by several studies that employee productivity can be significantly increased with the help of employee monitoring software. For instance, this research by Pierce, Snow, and McAfee shows a substantial rise in productivity and business profits as a result of worker monitoring.
The reasoning offered by scholars suggests that monitoring makes productivity more profitable for workers, aligning their most rational behavior strategies with the firm’s goals. It’s also proven that people show more productivity and better results when they know they are being watched.
Such supervision might be extreme for office workers, as there certainly are less intrusive ways to stimulate employee productivity. However, remote work can be much harder to navigate, especially when workers don’t have much experience with organizing the working process at home.
Less discipline, more sources of distraction, and a comfortable atmosphere associated with leisure time can impact the concentration and productivity of employees. Not to mention more difficulties with coordination and supervision of the working process, which also play their parts.
Employee monitoring software serves as a powerful incentive to increase productivity and involvement on the workers’ part. In addition, it helps better understand what tasks take more time and effort, where better cooperation is needed, and where your workers struggle the most. This allows you to make the necessary adjustments to the workload that will boost your team’s overall productivity.
Results In Higher Levels of Security
Monitoring employee activity allows you to ensure better security both for the team and your business in general.
On the one hand, employee monitoring software creates a higher sense of security for workers as they know all actions are being watched. This lowers the risk of harassment, abuse, or mistreatment from co-workers. The incidents can be proven and acted on if someone’s boundaries are crossed or neglected.
Any mistakes or miscommunications in the working process are also easy to trace and analyze, which is helpful when disagreements arise. Overall, monitoring allows you to ensure the working environment is safe for everyone, and it also helps workers feel more protected.
On the other hand, you can protect your business from internal threats as you have access to the full data on each employee’s activity. The study mentioned above showed a clear correlation between employee surveillance and significantly reduced theft risks.
When any important data is accessed or suspicious communication is noticed, you can easily investigate with the help of employee monitoring software. However, using such software in the first place is highly effective in preventing your workers from such behaviors, as they know their actions can be viewed.
Better Team Coordination
The ability to keep track of your employees’ working process helps you better analyze the quality of their teamwork and optimize it to maximize overall productivity.
For instance, you can see how the workload is shared within teams and each employee’s input individually. This lets you see if there’s any disbalance when some workers put in more time and effort than others.
You can also track the working hours and see if any teams or individual team members struggle with their tasks more than others. Analyzing the performance of each worker, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, will help you create more well-balanced teams and distribute tasks in a way that maximizes productivity.
Personal relationships within teams are also meaningful. You can see which of your workers click better and work together most effectively. By creating teams where communication is well-established and working compatibility is the highest.
And, of course, such adjustments will also be very beneficial for your employees. When they feel that the workload is fairly distributed and like their team members, the working process becomes more comfortable for everyone, and productivity also increases.
Improved Employee Engagement
Employee monitoring software is also an effective tool for creating a team of highly motivated and engaged workers. It allows you to evaluate the productivity of each employee and see how involved they are in the working process.
Higher engagement means:
- Better results
- Creative solutions
- Helpful suggestions
- New ideas that help move your work forward and benefit your business
Employees that show less interest and commitment, on the other hand, can cost your business money.
With employee monitoring, you’ll be able to track if any of your workers often get distracted, communicate poorly, or show less productivity than other team members. This way, you can identify the weaker points in your workers’ engagement and take measures to increase it.
You can also see which employees are more engaged in the working process and provide them with more incentives to keep their work up. Overall, employee monitoring can help you improve efficiency and relationships with your colleagues, which will benefit your business.
Optimizes the Working Process
Analyzing the working routines of your employees and their approaches to daily tasks can help reorganize the working process more efficiently. In the long run, this can help increase your bottom line, and help grow your business.
For instance, you can see how much your colleagues rely on certain software and whether it really helps them in their job. This allows you to cut costs on apps and programs that are not quite essential for your business or look for better alternatives.
On the other hand, you can see where your employees struggle the most and look for solutions to improve their productivity. Maybe some workers waste a lot of time performing boring routine tasks when they could show better results if offered more interesting problems to solve. Or perhaps investing in another type of software would pay off by improving the overall efficiency of your team.
As you uncover and address the issues with your employees’ productivity, you can track how well the solutions you implement work in practice. Ongoing monitoring will help analyze the results of your measures and optimize the working process over a shorter period of time.
Benefits for Your Budget
Last but not least, investing in employee monitoring software will help you cut costs in other areas.
These savings come naturally from other benefits I’ve discussed above. Improving teamwork and engagement will bring up efficiency, increasing the profits of your business. Better security means protecting yourself from inner threats and financial losses while also guaranteeing a safe space for your employees.
Cutting off the applications that are not beneficial for you will reduce the costs on software and optimize your budget spendings. Improving the productivity of workers or firing employees that cost you money will get you a better team for better results and future development.
Knowing that they’re being watched, the workers are likely to show better performance and be more productive during their work hours, which means your revenue will go up. Overall, employee monitoring software pays off in many different ways and is a beneficial investment.
The Cons of Employee Monitoring Software
The main controversy around employee monitoring software centers around the privacy of your workers. Many argue that such measures are intrusive and unethical for several reasons.
With monitoring software, you are also able to access the personal data of your employees, including their social media and bank account information. If you don’t protect the data properly, it can be stolen or leaked. This causes a lot of people to resent such measures and even leave their workplace to avoid surveillance.
While these issues are real, there are ways to implement employee monitoring in an ethical and respectful way. Here, transparency is vital. You must inform your workers about the software you’re using and get their consent to work on such terms before gathering any data.
It is also crucial to have a conversation about how the information is collected, what is and isn’t viewed, and how you will be storing and protecting the acquired data. Above all, you need to explain clearly and convincingly why this measure is implemented and tell your colleagues how they can benefit from employee monitoring.
And, of course, it is important to be honest about your goals and intentions, not violate your workers’ privacy, and use the data you gather to improve the working process and help your business grow.
Less Trust and More Resentment From Workers
Another issue is that many workers take employee monitoring as a sign of distrust toward them. They can be hurt or offended by your intention to watch them as they work or feel like you’re getting too controlling, which can be uncomfortable and distressing.
It is not uncommon for employees to oppose such measures, refuse to work under surveillance, or quit their position. The best way to avoid that is, of course, open communication, complete transparency, and good reasoning behind why your workers should agree to the new terms.
If you use employee monitoring ethically and respectfully, you will soon see the attitude of your workers change. They will get used to the new working format over time and get more comfortable knowing the software benefits them too.
Finally, monitoring your employees can result in legal issues. Privacy concerns are a sensitive matter, and you should be very careful when introducing such measures to avoid potential problems with the law.
While monitoring work devices is legal in most states, the details and nuances of the law can differ depending on where you’re operating. So, the first thing to do is study the legal situation with employee monitoring or consult with a lawyer to make sure you know where your rights as an employer end and the privacy rights of your workers start.
Your workers’ consent must also be obtained, preferably in written form. This will protect you from further issues if any disagreements arise.
Keep in mind that if you accidentally access the sensitive data of your colleagues, it is your responsibility to keep it safe. If private information gets stolen, you will be the one brought to answer for not providing sufficient security measures.
What Employee Monitoring Software To Get?
If you feel like employee monitoring software will benefit your business, consider investing in a Wolfeye Remote Screen subscription.
It’s an affordable and easy-to-navigate program that can help you monitor your workers’ activity in a safe and straightforward way. If desired, you can watch the screen remotely from another computer, make recordings or screenshots, and archive the recordings to access them later. You will also have access to the user’s search history.
A 3-day free trial version is offered, too, so you can install the program and use it with full functionality before committing to the purchase. With all essential features included, Wolfeye Remote Screen is a budget-friendly solution for employee surveillance.
While employee monitoring has both advantages and disadvantages, it is overall a great way to improve productivity and increase revenue. The collected data allows you to:
- Build stronger and more engaged teams
- Optimize your working process
- Cut costs
- Get better results from your workers
However, you must ensure that the software is used ethically and doesn’t threaten your employees’ privacy. Inform them about surveillance and get their consent, be transparent about what information you gather and how you store it and avoid collecting private data.
- Atera: The Ins and Outs of Employee Monitoring
- com: Pros and Cons of Monitoring Your Employees
- ActivTrak: Pros & Cons of Employee Monitoring
- Hubstaff: The Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring
- Washington University Olin Business School: Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity
- ResearchBerg: Virtual Employee Monitoring: A Review on Tools, Opportunities, Challenges, and Decision Factors
- Entrepreneur: Can Employee Monitoring Be Done Ethically?
- Wolfeye Remote Screen: home page