Understanding the Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring

Employee monitoring is the process of collecting information about workers’ activities and whereabouts by using different means of organizational surveillance. Businesses keep an eye on their workforce in order to increase productivity and preserve company properties.

Employee monitoring aids businesses in gaining a greater understanding of how their teams operate. It also allows for the formation of contingencies and the streamlining of workflows to increase operational performance.

Employee monitoring tools are capable of much more than just snooping around in systems. Understanding employee actions and getting insights into how staff members spend their time at work – whether in the workplace or remotely is easy with a tool like this.

The main goal is to discourage unacceptable behaviour from happening in the first place and if that fails, to curb it until it has a detrimental impact on the company. According to a survey undertaken by International Data Corp (IDC), 30-40% of employee Internet access time was not related to the job.

Employee monitoring has become common. Employees can be watched, reviewed, evaluated, and monitored in a variety of ways regularly. Types of employee monitoring in practice are the Internet and Email, Computer Activity, Key Logging, Telephone and GPS Tracking.

Pros of employee monitoring

#1. It boosts employee productivity

It is quite clear that when an employee is being monitored, his productivity increases because he knows that he is being watched and therefore, he does not waste time in wasteful activities but concentrates on his job and gives his best contribution. Every company wants its employees to perform better so that their company grows.

#2. Evaluate employee performance

When it comes to the annual growth of its employees and any awards for some outstanding achievements, there has to be some system of their evaluation. But to make the evaluation fair, objective and unbiased, some technological tools become mandatory.

This not only offers a fair evaluation of the employees but also enables the employees to do their self-assessment so that the employee and his evaluator are on the same page and there is no difference of opinion during his evaluation.

#3. Manage office properly

Monitoring employees helps employers to secure a better administration and management of their business. It ensures that employees are moving on the right track and discharging their responsibilities efficiently. To a great extent, this relieves the stress level of the employers as they are assured that everything is going on the right track.

#4. Keep vigilant eyes on whereabouts of the staff

To have better control over the staff, it is necessary to keep a constant vigil on their workplace. It might be possible that they might be not behaving properly with their colleagues or causing damage to company property or wasting time on social media or doing some other work during office hours.

It is, therefore, becoming a normal practice of installing closed-circuit televisions at various locations within the premises. Employee monitoring tools will do the same trick for remote workers.

Cons of employing monitoring

#1. The employees will always be under stress

Indeed, humans work better under supervision but it is also true that some employees may feel unsafe and stressed that they are under constant vigil. This has a negative effect on them where their performance deteriorates.

#2. Trust level is reduced

It affects the trust level of the employee when he knows that he is under constant vigil. If such monitoring is practised with the written consent of the employee, then it is ok but if such monitoring is being done without his knowledge, then he feels offended and gathers the impression that management does not trust him. He may also leave the company in extreme cases.

#3. It requires huge expenditure

To make monitoring effective, it requires capital expenditure by the management in terms of CCTV cameras, dedicating staff with special duties for monitoring & buying software. All these expenditures have a bearing on the cost of operations which becomes more expensive.

To conclude, management has to take a call and weigh the benefits versus costs to dedicate resources for monitoring its employees.

Applications of Employee Monitoring Software

Some sectors/industries benefit from employee monitoring software whether they are working remotely or in-office.

The IT department is one of the industries that benefit the most from monitoring. They can miss a significant software upgrade or forget to delete a former employee’s access to the system.

These errors may be the result of mere human error but they cost the business a lot of money and damage their reputation. If the infrastructure is in a position to track what the IT department is doing, administrators may be able to predict any future breaches or accidents to avoid them from occurring.

In terms of legal, Law firms can analyze detailed records on a staff member’s overall time spent on a project, all legal cases, and lawsuits by using employee monitoring tools. They can differentiate between billable and non-billable hours, resulting in more detailed overall project expenditure costs.

When it comes to the Hiring and Recruitment industry, monitoring the work of their teams is also a challenge. Managers would be able to track precise time and properly control tasks, schedules, and teams if they incorporate an Employee Monitoring System into their organization.

On the positive side, employees will be aware when they are overworked given they will be able to track their performance. Real-time screenshots will help their managers to give them better feedback and this would be a great step to track employee performance management.

Remote monitoring software which can provide a comprehensive account of bird-eye screenshots, monitor attendance, has a facility for remote barge-in and much more can be the next big step to enhance any organizational productivity.