Employee Monitoring: An Expert Guide
Each day when your employees enter the building, do they walk in, make their way to their workspace, and dive into their work? Or do they saunter in a few (or many) minutes late, socialize around the coffee pot for half an hour, and then head to their desk. . . to check their Facebook?
With a plethora of live and digital options competing to entice workers’ eyes and minds away from their jobs, more and more companies are turning to employee monitoring. With an employee monitoring strategy in place, organizations can noticeably boost productivity, reduce business risk, improve the quality of work, enhance security, prevent data leakage, protect intellectual property, and keep people productive, all day.
Employee monitoring is broadly defined as a way for employers to observe and track employee activity while in the workplace, when accessing the corporate network, or when representing the company outside of the office. It can be accomplished in a number of ways, usually by designing a solution made up of several types of tracking or surveillance, which may include:
- ID badges that use barcodes, magnetic stripes, proximity, smart credential, or radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies to track and manage employees and assets. Can also be used for time tracking.
- Closed-circuit video cameras for workplace monitoring and video surveillance systems that record employee activities, and can offer the ability to search by event, activity, time, and date.
- Employee monitoring software allows employers to observe and track computer usage, including email messages written and received, other electronic communications, applications use habits, individual keystrokes, Internet browsing history, network logon/off times, files copied to USB drives, and their physical location (for remote workers).
- Onsite security staff serving to deter unauthorized access to buildings or equipment, and employee mischief or theft.
- Biometric facial-recognition systems that utilize cameras and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to confirm identity by comparing facial textures and shapes with databases using photos or video frames.
- Phone tapping (phone calls recording) can be used to establish facts around employee productivity, quality of customer service, and provide documentation in cases where leaks of confidential information and/or trade secrets may be a concern.
- Location tracking uses GPS or RFID technology in company-issued phones to identify employee location and movements. GPS tracking can also be used for fleet vehicles tracking.
- Private investigators are sometimes engaged by organizations wanting to monitor employee meetings outside of the office (in cafes, coffee shops, etc.) in circumstances in which there is suspicion about information leaks.
- Social media monitoring includes automatic tracking and analysis of social media posts by employees to make sure they adhere to the company’s policies