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Employee Monitor-The Reality Check

Monitoring employees is a practice of employers checking on the activities of employees, ideally during the office hours. This practice though a matter of debate, is a corporate reality. Organisations either covertly or otherwise take to employee monitor methods to evaluate employee performance, to protect corporate or trade secrets and address legal as well as security concerns. You can free keylogger download here.

How do organisations actually monitor employees? Well, there are several methods of doing it – installing employee monitor software, video surveillance, tapping telephones or intercoms in the office or monitoring employee location and other such practices.

Employee Monitor software: Employees and computers are inseparable. Installing a decent and efficient software to monitor the online habits of employees is an almost standard procedure of operation for several organisations. This is a procedure, where the online movements of the employees are tracked from a central location. This software is installed across a business network giving access to employee logs.

Well, there is a variation too, known as the remote desktop software. As the name indicates this software is like a remote in the hands of employers or administrators to control and check on the PCs of employees via the internet or the company’s networking system from a centralised device.

Video surveillance: Video surveillance or CCTV (closed circuit television) involves installing cameras across the office in several important and convenient locations to monitor employee activities. This is not meant for broadcast. It is just a method where the cameras transmit signals to a specific location or a limited set of monitors to supervise and check the movements of employees.

Tapping telephones: This is a very old method of surveillance. The conversations, call details, the exact duration of each call and the number of calls of the employees can be monitored.

Monitoring employee location: This is a procedure adopted by companies where their employees do not work in one location. The employees may actually have to travel on work purposes and hence mobile tacking software is deployed by the employer to check on the workers’ whereabouts.

Why are employee monitor practices adopted by organisations?

  • The internet is all pervasive in this millennium. Employees use the internet for work and often for purposes other than work. The problem arises when this surfing-the-net habit affects employee productivity. When social media activities of employees start directly affecting their work performance, then it’s time to rope in some stringent checks, say employers and administrators.

  • Several companies monitor their employees who have access to confidential information and corporate secrets.
  • When employee monitor practices are deployed, it promotes transparency, say company bosses. This has an impact on the manager’s ability to connect with everyone and generally have the knowledge of what’s happening and how efficiently the work is being carried out. This leads to work efficiency and other benefits too.

Broadly, it can be summarised saying that employee monitoring practices are used to improve productivity, address security concerns and give better employee insights. This could lead to better delegation of roles and responsibilities thereby improving overall employee performance.

The case against employee monitor practices:

  • The first and foremost thing that comes to our mind when we talk of employee monitor practices is that this leads to encroachment of privacy.
  • Several employee unions argue that such practices lead to increased stress levels rather than improving productivity and efficiency.
  • Well no privacy and more interference could also have a negative impact on the morale and enthusiasm of the employees towards work. This could adversely affect the work culture of the organisation.

The ethical and legal angle: Privacy encroachment- what is the limit? This is the challenge that many corporates face. While, many companies have to deal with leaking of sensitive data and important information they simultaneously face the challenge of boosting employee morale and promoting a healthy work environment.
Employee monitor practices in many countries is considered legal and many leading corporates encourage such practices as long as the monitoring practices are not ‘invasive’. Such employee monitor practices maybe used when

  • Access to employee work and information is needed and they are not available.
  • To protect company secrets and confidential data and information.
  • To prevent employees from taking undue advantage of company facilities.
  • To prevent harassment in workplace
  • To check on malware and unethical net surfing practices of employees.

The exploitation of workers and bosses alike can be prevented when employee monitor practices are adapted in the company policy and employee participation in managing these practices is encouraged.
Employee monitor software is probably the easiest way of using technology to the benefit of all parties concerned company administration and employees alike.