It’s completely logical that the employee monitoring industry has reached new heights in 2020. At some point, thanks to lockdown restrictions, around 80% of world workers were working from home. Keeping in mind that many of them have never experienced working remotely, it’s really not a surprise that we’ve seen an increased use of employee tracking software.
The software is very helpful when it comes to measuring productivity, keeping track of employees’ attendance, break times, etc. However, managers can easily fall into a trap of tracking and collecting data that simply isn’t useful for their business goals, as well as starting to micromanage their employees.
Given the popularity of the software, and how easy it is to fall into the trap we mentioned earlier, we realized it would be a good idea to turn to those things that you shouldn’t be doing if you’re monitoring your employees.
Depending on the specific employee tracking software you’re using, you could be dealing with several dozens of features. From activity monitoring, website and app usage, all the way to alerts for low productivity. Some of these will be quite useful to you, while others really aren’t. To decide which data you need to collect and monitor, you need to understand why you want to use this software.
If your only concern is time and attendance tracking, there’s no need for you to have the screenshots turned on. Use the software as a clock in device, and you’ll have all the necessary data for that specific need. If you’re worried about productivity, label apps and websites as productive/unproductive to get these calculations, and so on.
Screenshots are seen as a very intrusive feature in the monitoring world. If they’re programmed to work every few minutes and take snapshots of your team’s screens, you could be getting the information you absolutely don’t need – such as social media feeds, private emails, bank account details, etc.
Some companies block the use of these websites anyways, so it’s impossible to catch private data of this sort, however, if you’re not one of them you need to take a different approach. No one can expect that their employees won’t take a sneak peek of their social accounts during working hours. So, if you still want to let them do that and avoid taking screenshots of their feeds, you should try to find a software that will allow you to block the tracking of certain apps and websites.
This is a feature that’s also useful in the healthcare industry, since employees spend a lot of time looking at private patient data. The software will still indicate that an employee was using the app X, but there won’t be any screenshots of what they were doing there.
Giving employees access to their own data will help you comply with regulations in some parts of the world, but it will also give them peace. There’s rarely anyone that’s completely comfortable with employee tracking software, so your employees could be stressing about what it is that you see.
The best way to keep them relaxed is to let them see their data whenever they want to. This way, they’ll know what you know, and won’t lose any sleep thinking whether they could be sanctioned for something they’ve done.
While it’s good to let your employees see the data your employee tracking software collected on them, there’s no point in everyone seeing everything. Limit the data access to team leaders, upper management and individual employees. All team leaders and managers should be able to see the data related to their own teams.
The benefits of employee tracking software are numerous – from increasing productivity, better time management, optimized workload and project management. However, these benefits only go as far as you let them. The more strict you are with the system, the higher the chances are that it’ll backfire. So, be careful with what data you’re collecting, who has access to it and how you’re using it in the long run.