Should you use employee monitoring software?

The debate around employee monitoring software wages on. For the past few years this has been a haughtily contested issue. On the con side are arguments claiming employee monitoring software is like big brother, an invasion of privacy that winds up focusing on all the wrong things. On the other side you have passionate supporters saying it improves efficiency and protects companies.

Employee monitoring software may have an ominous sound, but in reality it is more encouraging than threatening. Rarely will you find a company whose sole purpose in utilizing these tools is to pinpoint and torture employees for spending too much time on social media or not working hard enough. In reality most companies who utilize employee monitoring software are doing so to get a better understanding of their bottom line and what makes their workers happy (read more about myths associated with time tracking). 

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When deployed properly employee monitoring software is good for both employees and managers. In fact the advent of employee monitoring has produced a lot of valuable insights into workplace habits and productivity. No employer wants to see their employees working relentlessly for 8 hours, taking breaks and ensuring social interaction makes for happier and more productive workers. The more insights that employers are able to get about what makes their employees more productive the more they are able to tailor their work experiences to increase loyalty and improve outcomes. Employee monitoring gives managers the tools to make employees more productive and set them up for success in their work. It also creates efficient by allowing projects to be easily monitored. When managers are able to easily follow the different projects underway they are able to spot errors and course correct. On a more practical level, employee monitoring software drastically reduces payroll errors, something that everyone can be happy about.  In the case of remote teams, employee monitoring software ensures that all team members are on the same page and working towards the same goals.

The positive outcomes of employee monitoring software doesn’t mean that it’s all warm and fuzzy. There are types of employee monitoring that do deserve their bad rap. The problem with employee monitoring arises when companies choose to use silent monitoring without the consent of their employees. When you hear about employee monitoring software invading privacy and decreasing moral this is the type of employee monitoring that is taking place. In these situations, employees either don’t know or have not given their permission to be monitored. Employee monitoring should always be transparent. Employees have the right know what information is being gathered and tracked. Silent employee monitoring creates a hostile work environment and can actually lead to a decrease in productivity. Silent monitoring happens when companies implement procedures without alerting their employees, cameras and website tracking are common instances. Employees have no idea that they are being monitored, let alone what type of information is being tracked.

Transparent employee monitoring means that employers make sure to get the written consent of their employees before the begin tracking them. Employees are given complete knowledge of what information is being gathered and are made aware of how the monitoring will occur. All good employee monitoring software also makes sure to give power to the employee. Employees must be able to stop the monitoring or tracking whenever they are not working. Most individuals who work in the employee monitoring world feel strongly about the need for proper rules governing privacy.

Hubstaff’s time tracking software, takes screenshots and capture activity, but is controlled by employees. Each worker understands how the software works and is able to allot time spent on individual projects. There’s also a stop function so employees have complete control of when the software is being used. Complete transparency allows workers to feel comfortable working with employee monitoring software and empowered to use the time they spend working more effectively.

Hubstaff takes employee monitoring software to the next level through their use of integrations. Seamless integrations with the most popular project management systems, as well as bookkeeping software means that projects are tracked and paid out effortlessly.

As remote teams and freelancers continue to become the workplace norm, employee monitoring software will become standard. More regulations governing the process will arise, hopefully they will clearly regulate against the invasions of silent monitoring and promote the transparent employee monitoring that can improve productivity and lead to innovation solutions. As long as all parties are informed and educated on the process, employee monitoring software has a lot to offer both employees and managers.