Is monitoring software for remote employees worth it?

home office

With this era of pandemic forcing a lot of people to work from home, many companies have adapted by making use of monitoring software for remote employees while some others are still struggling to adapt.

For employers, of the many challenges that comes with having staffs work out of office  is the issue of productivity, there tend to be the issues of staffs misusing their time because there are no supervisors and managers to keep a tab on them.

Well some tech companies are providing software for monitoring remote employees working from home, by taking screenshots, or logging keystrokes and screen times of their employees computer on an hourly basis or based on how the employer chooses to configure the software.

According to BBC, Shibu who is the founder of Transcend – a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online, had for over a year and and half been making use of one of such softwares, one which is called Hubstaff, the software is able log his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

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“I know myself. [You can] take an extra 10-minute break here or there. It’s good to have an automatic way of monitoring what [my employees] are up to,” says Shibu.

“By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they’re following procedures.  And, if they’re doing better than I expected, I also study the photos and ask them to share that knowledge with the rest of the team so we can all improve,” he says.

However, he also noted that the employees are very aware that the software is in use and can easily delete time spent visiting websites that might have been logged by accident during their break, to avoid any misinformation to their employer.

Even though some employers who have deployed this type of tracking softwares might argue that it is good for maintaining productivity, research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that workplace surveillance can damage trust.

The use of this method to check the activities of staffs  out of office may seem effective, but where the issue will arise will be when the employer starts over monitoring the activities of the staff, as this can derail the employee trust and make them loose enthusiasm for the job.

What do you think about these monitoring software, will you allow it on your system and where should an employer draw the line on things to monitor?

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