How Critical Is Employee Monitoring Software In Business?

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Productivity has become an important factor for many companies to consider. In the name of productivity, project managers have sprung up at businesses of all industries and sizes. Start- ups in Silicon Valley often use a variety of productivity systems, such as SCRUM, to manage large-scale projects and ensure that all teams are operating at maximum efficiency. One area of productivity management with much debate about is employee monitoring. 

Whether through specialized software or traditional surveillance systems, the idea of employees being monitored and analyzed is a bit creepy for some. For this reason, there are some that believe employee monitoring isn’t critical to business performance. Here’s one way to look at this complex conversation. 

Why You’d Want To Monitor Employees 

Even if you’re an employee who is given pause by the idea of being monitored, it’s easy to understand why businesses would be interested in monitoring how employees work. With the ubiquity of personal technology in the workplace, time theft is becoming an increasing concern for companies. Time theft can occur when employees take longer breaks than they are allowed. Additionally, smartphone use makes time theft possible while employees sit at their desks. 

This is a problem beyond only smartphone use, though. Recent studies have shown that 30 to 40 percent of employee internet use is often unrelated to work. Clearly, something must be done to encourage employees to stay focused at the task at hand. And for many companies, employee monitoring software is one solution. 

Ways To Monitor Employee Technology Use 

There are a variety of technologies available to you if you want to monitor how your employees are using their computers and tech at work. One popular approach is using keystroke logging software. This type of software offers employers the ability to see how their workers are using the computer at all times, and creates a record of what websites and applications are used, as well as what documents are sent to the printer. Keystroke logging software can also give you a better idea about whether or not employees are using workplace internet to download or upload personal files, and if they are checking personal email on work-issued devices. Most software packages offer the ability to set alerts for suspicious or malicious behaviors. This makes the software far less intrusive than it sounds on first read. Particularly if you handle sensitive information, deal in trade secrets, or have employees who have signed NDAs, setting up alerts can be a great way to ensure that your business stays protected. 

Traditional Surveillance Methods Are Just As Useful 

Fancy software packages are one way to monitor employee behavior, but your existing surveillance camera system may also do the job, as well. Particularly when it comes to seeing if employee breaks are taken appropriately, and ensuring that trips to the bathroom aren’t abused, your existing security cameras will often be quite helpful. It’s also worth noting that if your employees are uncomfortable at the idea of being monitored, a surveillance system that also functions as security for the business feels more passive, and, as such, less threatening. While you want employees to stay productive, if you create a workplace that feels hostile or threatening, productivity may go down. 

Time Is Money

While there is still debate about how to best monitor employee productivity, a simple consideration of workers’ feelings will often go a long way. Many times, employee monitoring software isn’t critical if you have a robust surveillance platform capable of keeping tabs on how employees move in and out of certain areas without feeling intrusive. 

Ultimately, a happy workplace is a productive workplace, so going overboard with monitoring software may not always be the best course of action.

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