See If Remote Employees Are Working

Unlike at a physical location, a business cannot check-in on their remote workers. Instead, they must do so with the support of technology.

Employee monitoring software, like that provided by SoftActivity, is a monitoring tool that can be deployed to remote employee computers and installed to track time, projects, and remote workplace productivity. Implementing remote employee monitoring is easy and worthwhile.

Read on to see how it can help you identify if your remote employees are working or slacking off!

Benefits of Remote Employee Monitoring

With almost the entire world shifting to a virtual workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have naturally experienced a huge transition toward remote working. Because it was necessary to move to remote work due to physical distancing requirements and quarantining, remote work poses many benefits to businesses. 

Unfortunately, alongside those benefits come many challenges as well. One of the biggest challenges is remote worker productivity and whether your employees are genuinely working when they say they are. Making this distinction is one of the biggest benefits associated with remote monitoring tools. 

With any remote team, special processes need to be in place to keep that remote workforce responsible and diligent. For example, you might have a specialized project manager for your remote team and have a different one for teams in-house. 

The same goes for remote monitoring. With a brick-and-mortar location, you might have a surveillance system set up so that you can monitor the goings-on of your business. But, it is unlikely that you can have the same security system deployed at each of your remote workers’ residences. In fact, it likely violates a number of privacy laws and will be pretty expensive on top of that. Employee monitoring solutions mitigate this. 

Reasons Why You Would Get Remote Monitoring Software

One of the biggest reasons you would get remote monitoring software is to see if your remote employees are working, but there are other benefits. 

For example, this software can provide user behavior analytics (UBAs), which monitors employee behavior trends so that you can see if your employees are behaving in a normal manner or if something is off. If something is off, your software will alert your management team, and you can look into mitigating a potential threat. 

Sometimes your remote employees’ devices get stolen, or someone hacks onto their computer through their weak, personal internet network. Other times, your employees might have malicious intent against your company. 

No matter the reasons, having remote monitoring software installed will help to protect your assets and confirm if your employees are working when they say they are. 

Outside of major risks like insider threats and time theft, remote monitoring can help improve productivity. While your employees may be working diligently, they might not be working effectively or as efficiently as they can be. Therefore, you should implement remote monitoring so that you can see the true metrics around your employees’ performance. 

Features for Remote Monitoring

There are many employee tracking software platforms to consider. However, when you want one that will support your remote team, you can look for some key features:

  • User activity tracking: User activity tracking monitors things like whether your computer (using the mouse or keyboard) is active, the applications that a user visits, the webpages that a user visits, time spent on each application and project, wasted time reports (like if your employees were on Facebook) and more. With user activity tracking, you can get a sense of what your employees do all day so that you can tell when your employees are working or when they are slacking. This can also be added to the user behavioral analytics data so you can identify user trends. 
  • Remote installation: Remote installation is important if you want to surveil your team secretly. In order to remotely install the software, you should have admin and remote access to the computer; most likely, you are the owner of the computer. Once installed, your management team will be able to access the software from a primary console, and from there, you can control the settings. 
  • Silent screenshots: Silent screenshots are screenshots taken of an employee’s computer without them knowing it. These screenshots are then uploaded to the employer’s admin console, where management can see what the employees are working on. You can check this data occasionally or frequently to see how often your employees are slacking off. You can also compare this with time tracking data to verify time tracking reports. 
  • Webcam monitoring: Webcam monitoring streams a user’s live webcam to a remote admin console so that the managers can verify that employees are at their computers. While you may need to get consent from your employees, it is a surefire way to check that employees are actively at their computers (and awake!). Monitor this data and multiple streams live at any given time from the admin console. 
  • Time tracking: Time tracking is an easy way that you can go in and see if your employees are working. While you may need to work with your team to develop a process around time tracking, it is an objective way to measure productivity. If the only thing you use to track productivity is time tracking, your employees will pay attention to how it is completed so that it is correct and get paid what they are owed. While you should offer some exceptions, you can rely on time tracking for timesheets and payroll.  

When implementing this tool, there are some things that you should consider. For example, if your employees work on company laptops, you have better control over the whole process. You can more easily tap into the employees’ computer as you already have admin access. In this case, you could set up a time to install the software onto the computer. This can be done before the software is sent out; but, you can also remote login to the computer and remotely install the software from the admin console. 

Remote installation is necessary because then the software can secretly run and monitor against insider threats. You might not be able to stream through the webcam discreetly, so be sure to learn the ins-and-outs of privacy concerns for employee monitoring. 

See if Your Remote Employees Are Working

Many times remote employees will say they are working when they are really on the couch, eating chips, and watching TV. Without any kind of time tracker, you have no way of knowing what’s going on. When you ask that employees record time, you know that they won’t be compensated unless they prove that they were actually working. This helps to protect your bottom line and your business.

Instead of needing a manager and surveillance camera at each location, remote monitoring software can be installed on your employee’s computer. With its sophisticated tracking, you can stay on top of projects through time tracking, task tracking, website and application monitoring, and attendance tracking.

By SoftActivity Team

April 19th, 2021