Ever since there has been a significant rise in insider-related data breaches and cyberattacks, employee monitoring in the workplace has become a common practice. In fact, several businesses that have suffered major data breaches at the hands of their staff workers have deployed employee monitoring solutions in the workplace.
But what does an employee monitoring solution mean? How does employee monitoring work? Employee monitoring solutions help companies keep a check on their employees’ activities at the workplace. Employers can monitor their employees’ productivity and work attendance, enhance the company’s cybersecurity, and minimize administrative tasks by using employee monitoring solutions.
The employee monitoring solution will let you remotely monitor your employees’ activities. That means you can be outside of your office and still be able to keep a check on your employees during working hours. Let’s say if you’re using Mobistealth as your employee monitoring software, as soon as you enter your Mobistealth login credentials, you can remotely view your employees’ activities through your online dashboard.
Employee Monitoring and Workplace Privacy
Employee monitoring does not come across as a hurdle for most companies if they do it legally and ethically. Companies only find employee monitoring challenging when they fail to identify the difference between monitoring and surveillance. Employee monitoring is legal and ethical as long as companies are tracking only essential metrics of employee productivity.
Employers should not cross their limits when they are tracking employee activity. For instance, they should not monitor them after working hours come to an end or when employees have left the workplace. Monitoring can be done when an employee visits another destination for a business meeting or goes out on a field trip. In all other cases, employee monitoring is not allowed.
Employers are only legally allowed to monitor employees during working hours and if they are using company-owned devices. Employee monitoring is also applicable if employees are using their personal devices at work.
No employee would want to risk their personal privacy while being at work. Therefore, every employer should respect their employee’s privacy and should not invade it by monitoring them outside the workplace.
Best Practices for Employee Monitoring
If you want to make employee monitoring smooth and hassle-free, we recommend you follow some tried and tested practices for employee monitoring. Here are a few best practices that you can follow to monitor your employees effectively:
Set Up A Clear Monitoring Policy
It is important to create and set up a clear and transparent employee monitoring policy to monitor your staff workers. In the policy, you should clearly explain how you are going to monitor your employees, what is the actual purpose of monitoring them, and what steps you are going to take to ensure employee data privacy.
You should write down this policy and hand it out to all your employees so they can take a look at it and become familiar with it. Not only do they become familiar with it, but make sure your employees also stick to the employee monitoring policy.
Observe all the Legal Requirements
Before creating and setting up an employee monitoring policy in the workplace, make sure you are paying close attention to all the legal requirements associated with employee monitoring. You need to stay updated on the changes to the state and federal laws concerned with employee monitoring.
In case employee monitoring laws change in your state or territory, be sure to review and update your employee monitoring policy as soon as possible. That way you can avoid legal problems and save your business from financial penalties.
Inform Your Employees
In some countries, especially in the US, it is mandatory to inform your employees about employee monitoring solutions. At the time of hiring them, it is important that you notify your employees about all the employee monitoring solutions you will be deploying on their devices to keep a check on their activities during working hours.
You should tell your employees what exactly you will be monitoring and why you will be monitoring them in the first place. Inform them about the employee monitoring solution that you will be using to monitor them. Explain to them how it works and highlight its benefits. Letting your employees know about employee monitoring systems is a good practice as it helps to create a healthy atmosphere within the workplace.
Filter and Block Unsuitable Sites/Apps
Most companies tend to filter and block inappropriate and undesired websites, social media sites, porn sites, sites containing hate speech and violent content, etc. In fact, it is a common practice within companies to block unsuitable apps and sites. By doing this, you can prevent your employees from wasting time visiting such sites and apps during working hours.
They can easily get distracted by browsing such sites and apps, thus neglecting important official tasks. Not to forget, suspicious sites can also lead to major cyberattack incidents. Therefore, if you do not want your employees to waste work hours and get indulged in leisure activities, you should consider filtering and blocking unsuitable sites and apps on their devices.
Pay Attention to Monitoring, Not Surveillance
We cannot stress this enough but employers should only focus on monitoring and not surveillance. You should only monitor employees’ activities when it is directly in relation to your business. Monitor their work-related activities and not their personal activities, especially what they do in their free time. You are not allowed to track them after working hours.
Let’s not forget that employees already feel anxious about having their every activity monitored by the employers. Employee monitoring shouldn’t cross the limits and look close enough to spying. The main purpose of employee monitoring should always be collecting information that is essential to the business.
Respect Employee Privacy
We may have already explained this employee monitoring practice but let’s review it all over again. As an employer, you should never make your employees feel that you are invading their privacy. Every employer should respect employee privacy by monitoring their activities only during office hours.
Do not attempt to monitor their personal communication, especially if it is not directly related to your business or impacts your business for some reason. Also, make it a point to avoid keeping track of their personal information such as credit card details, banking information, and passwords.
Use a Reliable and Dedicated Employee Monitoring Software
Before you opt for an employee monitoring software, make sure it provides all the necessary employee monitoring and surveillance features that you need to track your employees in the workplace. Choose monitoring software that doesn’t seem too obtrusive and doesn’t interrupt your employees during work.
A reliable and dedicated employee monitoring software should be able to let you remotely keep a check on your employees’ activities. It should be able to offer vital monitoring features such as SMS and call monitoring, email monitoring, tracking internet browsing history and social media accounts, GPS location tracking, etc. Depending on the type of platform or device your employee is using, you can install a cell phone spy app or computer software on their device and monitor them.
Last but not least, make sure your employees cannot pause or stop the working of the monitoring apps or software on their systems no matter how much technical knowledge they may have. The employee monitoring software should keep working no matter what come may.