The Pros and Cons of Employee Monitoring Software

Employee Monitoring Software

Do you believe that your employees are trustworthy? How do you know if they are not? You could spend hours trying to figure out or using employee monitoring software. Employee monitoring software tracks the keystrokes of each worker and captures screenshots at set intervals. If an employer suspects an employee of any wrongdoing, this program determines whether proof exists. Therefore, employers use this software to monitor workers’ Internet activity, chat conversations, emails, and computer usage. Despite its usefulness, employee monitoring software is controversial.

Fixes Problems

Employers often face problems with best employee monitoring software who download illegal files onto their work computers or visit inappropriate sites during their shift. The thief may also be a co-worker who steals company secrets for his gain when he visits illicit websites during work hours.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, companies lose millions of dollars each year due to information leaks. On average, it costs £7,000 (about $12,000) to resolve each incident. When confronted with such a situation, some employers immediately fire the worker because he has violated company policy.

Some employees steal office supplies for personal use or take long breaks that they do not record. If caught in this behaviour, other employers mandate that the employee pay for these items out of his salary instead of firing him.

Employee monitoring software does not guarantee success within a business environment; however, it often exposes problems before they cause any significant damage. It is much less expensive than losing money and time through theft. It is also less complicated than interrogating workers for information on the past behaviour of their co-workers.

Stressed Workers Are monitored at work, even though they signed an agreement with the employer to monitor staff performance?

Some employees feel that employers should stay out of their business since they are at work to do a job, not socialise with coworkers. They argue that this software invades their private lives by revealing what they do outside work hours. This stress may cause them to resign from a position if they feel uncomfortable being monitored. Employers must weigh whether employee monitoring software stress is worth gaining control over company computers or obtaining the truth about illegal activities occurring in the workplace against potential turnover.

Is Your Company Liable?

Are you willing to take responsibility for the actions of your employees when they are at work? Some laws require employers to prove that workers committed an act against company policy or law before their employer can use employee monitoring software to gain details about that act. Two examples include intercepting communications (e-mails) and recording personal devices (cell phones). If this software gathers evidence about activities outside of the workspace, such as suspicious behaviours occurring in private homes, it may violate some states’ laws regarding surveillance.

For example, California employers cannot monitor workers with video cameras without written consent. However, employees sign a statement authorising this action upon hiring. Employers should consult with Human Resources representatives to determine whether their practices comply with state surveillance laws before implementing such tactics.

To monitor or not to monitor? That is the question. If employers choose employee monitoring software, they must weigh the benefits and stress it generates for employees against the possible loss of money and time that results from employee theft and misuse of company resources.

Once again, it depends on each business environment and workplace culture. Whatever decision you make, be sure to develop a policy statement about your reasons behind this choice. So, all involved understand what you hope to gain from such actions.

Otherwise, your workers may feel accused without explanation. This can cause stress and resentment toward management instead of better productivity.

Who Develops the Policies for Employee Monitoring Software Use at Your Company?

With increases in computer technology, many businesses depend on their employees to use company-owned computers. However, employers often find that these devices are not used properly or their data is compromised. Even with strict policies against Internet surfing and social media access during work hours, employees may still abuse the privilege of using their employers.

When confronted with this situation, employers must find ways to prevent this misuse and ensure the security of their company assets. Suppose you suspect your employees are using their company computers for personal activities. In that case, you can investigate further to see if they also send personal emails or access social media sites during work hours.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46 per cent of workers check personal email on a work computer at least once per day. Other studies reveal that one in four Internet users visit social networking sites each day during business hours. Once you discover which websites your employees use most often outside of working hours, you must decide whether to implement policies that restrict these activities or choose employee monitoring software that monitors these sites during work hours.

While your employees are on company time, you should have full ability to monitor their use of the Internet and company Web access. If employees use social networking sites or other non-work-related websites, you may wish to limit this activity while at work. Employers who choose employee monitoring software can quickly identify which programs workers access most often. This way, administrators can determine whether they need to monitor these activities.

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