Employee Monitoring: What Most Employers Aren’t Considering

“When employers have the capacity to monitor you, they will” – Esther Kaplan

I read an interesting article in the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine about the next craze in big data. The author, Esther Kaplan, discusses that thanks to big data an employee’s every move can assessed and monitored by the employer and addressed. She also discussed how “oceans of valuable workforce data” will change the game on how employers schedule, hire or even fire workers.

We loved the article of course because Hubstaff is doing exactly that for thousands of businesses across the world. We think there’s an important point being missed though. Hubstaff can of course be used as an employee monitoring software, but that’s really not efficient for anyone, and it’s not how people use our system. Managers are not sitting around and looking at all the screenshots or activity levels.

The real reasons employers use monitoring and time tracking software

  • Automating timesheets instead of having people submit Excel spreadsheets. Seriously this still happens
  • Measuring the overall productivity of Employee A vs. Employee B when deciding who to hire, saving them thousands in training and management headaches
  • Automating communication.  Since you can see what’s going on, you don’t have the stress or the inefficiencies of email.

The people who use our service are small business owners and entrepreneurs from around the world that have, in our opinion, decided to manage their entire business in a more efficient way.

Dave, who is the co-founder of Hubstaff, shared an example with me that he once had a web designer working for him remotely from another country. Consider these two scenarios when a task is given to the web designer and expected to be complete by the deadline.

The way it’s done in most small businesses today:

Wait 48-72 hours to see the design (usually after repeated attempts to get a response via email), and then not liking the design.  Then requesting changes, and going back and forth via email which is subject to delays and the worst part is because of all the waste, you are overpaying.

How it’s done for Hubstaff clients:

Login and see the progress in real time. Then request the changes. Then pay for exactly the number of hours spent with the proof of work behind it.

Hubstaff automates workflows and communication

And we’re proud of that. We believe this is the new way of doing business, and we are excited to be leading the way. The world of remote work gets especially complex when considering time zones and language barriers.

Hubstaff was created to solve these exact problems and our customers love us for it.

Although everything sounds good for business owners, we do know that we need to tread this line carefully to not make the software unproductive for the employees.  For the employees this can sometimes be a change.  Usually when the employee understands that they don’t need to submit timesheets, and they truly are helping the business owner or manager get better data and make better business decisions, they are open to the idea.

In addition, we find that the great workers actually love this software. They are able to prove that they are working on specific things and they are able to show they work fast, they are efficient.  They weren’t able to do this before. Try standing out in a company of 200 medical billing professionals that work in a remote environment. We make this easy. For the great employees, we provide job security. Employers would never drop a really efficient, great employee unless of course, they have to for other reasons.

The Original Article

The article is called The Spy Who Fired Me written by Esther Kaplan and is available on the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine. We’d love hear your thoughts!

If you want to try Hubstaff, we would welcome you with open arms to this new, more efficient way of running your team.