Should I Get Employee Monitoring Software?

Employee monitoring software gives employers a powerful tool for tracking employee behaviors on work computers. Employee monitoring software is a non-invasive software that protects company data, protects against time theft, and provides viable tracking data for performance purposes.

For some, the decision to get employee monitoring software is a tough one to make. On the one hand, some employers may believe in its power but don’t want to act like Big Brother watching over their employees. But, when you weigh the pros and cons of employee monitoring software, it’s clear that it is a smart option for small to large businesses. 

If you’re considering getting employee monitoring software, this blog will help you decipher the advantages and disadvantages.

How Does Employee Monitoring Software Work?

Employee monitoring software is downloaded onto company computers to track user behaviors on that active computer. The software can be configured in several ways. 

Sometimes the software is downloaded secretly onto a computer by the company IT team to track suspicious employee behavior. This monitoring software can track keystroke logging, personal communication, and data movement. 

The same features are available in monitoring software installed with employee knowledge. This software is often used for time tracking or employee productivity monitoring. With this type of employee monitoring tool, the employee would turn a timer off and on to track individual tasks and projects completed during working hours. The data collected from this software can then be used to verify project statuses, wasted productivity, and time theft, improving overall project management. 

No matter which type of software your company uses, employee monitoring software uses its features to track specific user movements. This software will log the applications opened, websites visited, and the time spent on each. It will also record sent data in messaging apps, emails, and more.

Benefits of Employee Monitoring Software

Employee monitoring software is useful for employee activity monitoring, protecting company data, and improving employee productivity. 

When used properly, this software and monitoring system is very beneficial. Not only does it save the company money by catching time theft, but it also provides useful productivity data and vital security data. 

If you are considering employee monitoring software, take these key benefits into account:

Productivity Data You Can’t Get Anywhere Else

Employee tracking software collects data like how long employees spend on applications, and websites, chatting with colleagues and sending files. The data is collected in a way that can be evaluated from many angles. 

Monitoring software collects objective data on computer user activity. This data can be analyzed company-wide, on a team basis, or individually, meaning employers have several options for seeing how their employees work and understanding employee efficiency. Look for signs of poor productivity, poor employee engagement, and remote worker time theft.

Peace of Mind Around Company Data

Your company data is not only your own, but it is often your customer’s information too. This is sensitive information that, if stolen, can ruin their lives. It is up to your company to protect your client and customer data and be responsible for it.

Employee monitoring software is a simple form of employee surveillance so you can protect your sensitive company data.

Useful Talking Points Around Workplace Issues

Struggling with getting your employees to work? Are they scrolling social media too much? Online shopping? Chatting with friends?

Monitoring employees and collecting data to support evidence of time theft, procrastination, or poor productivity supports difficult conversations. Luckily, this data allows you to develop effective talking points for improving and resolving workplace issues and working with problem employees.

Improved Oversight With Remote Workplaces

Remote work is ever-increasing, but it leaves employers at a disadvantage. Managers can’t walk around the office to keep a watchful eye on their employees; remote employee monitoring is your eyes and ears.

With user behavior tracking software on their computer, remote employees could do whatever they want during work hours. Use this software to monitor worker productivity, whether up the street or on the other side of the world.

Is Employee Monitoring Legal for Workplace Surveillance?

One big point of contention is whether or not employee monitoring is legal. An employer has the right to keep track of what goes on at the job and can therefore deploy workplace monitoring and tracking software. Surveillance software allows the company to protect its employees and data from nefarious activities. 

Employees have laws that protect them from invasive monitoring tactics. The most robust laws are those in California and the EU. The CCPA and GDPA are two impactful employee protection laws that give residents in California and the EU more rights to know when they are being monitored. It also protects online consumers from their data being collected without their consent. 

Other laws are beginning to emerge around employee monitoring tools and data collection. A new law in Ontario, Canada, required employers to tell their employees that they were being tracked under certain criteria. Based on these laws, it’s safe to assume that employers are allowed to track their employees to a reasonable degree, and employers may have to disclose a level of tracking to their employees for privacy reasons. 

Before pursuing employee monitoring software, consider the laws overseeing your jurisdiction. Knowing your rights and your employees’ rights will create a healthier working environment and help maintain employee morale.  

Disadvantages of an Employee Monitoring Solution In Your Workplace

When deciding on employee monitoring software, it’s important to understand the negative impacts it might have on your employees. There are disadvantages to employee monitoring:

  1. Employees may not know how to use the software properly
  2. Employees may not like using the software and may become disgruntled
  3. Poor use of the software may result in a negative company culture around privacy
  4. Employers may abuse the software and its metrics
  5. Improper training may result in a waste of time, effort, and resources around the software system

While the proper use of employee monitoring software makes intuitive sense, there is a risk of improper use, improper training, or negative company culture. All of this can be mitigated with the right software and team members in charge of the system. 

How to Use an Employee Monitoring Software Solution

If you’ve decided to use an employee monitoring system, you’ve made the right choice. With safe and comprehensive software like SoftActivity, you’ll rest assured that your software has the features to protect your company and your employees. 

Here are some items to consider for using your monitoring software correctly:

Correctly Configure the Software for Security

Monitoring software installed remotely from a central console onto the workstations you want to monitor. When you do this, the administrative controller has complete control over the settings to ensure privacy is protected and maintained. 

When installing the system on the computers, you want to ensure that you properly configure the settings before giving employees access. 

Be sure to consider the following:

  • Who has administrative access to the console
  • Who can change the individual tracking settings
  • Set up alerts or notifications around changed settings and data movement
  • Limit whether the software tracks sensitive banking data and personal credentials
  • Provide encryption and password-protect sensitive areas when possible
  • Limit GPS tracking if it can be avoided

Choose a Trusted Team to do the Monitoring

You don’t want your employees to be illegally monitoring other staff. The best way to do this is to choose a team you trust.

Vet your employees to see who would best fit this role. 

Training Your Staff on How to Use the Software and Privacy

The staff using the software will need to be trained on how to do so properly. 

Your staff will have access to sensitive employee information, so you want to ensure they know this role’s importance. They should not be given access to information they can abuse, like bank account information or personal credentials.

Regularly Check The Software Records

Employee monitoring software only works with regular monitoring. This includes ensuring that the software is tracking properly, ensuring employees are using it correctly, and following up on anomalies. 

You will regularly have to reconfigure the software as updates and company changes occur.

Touch Base With Employees About Performance Data

Finally, you want to touch base with your employees about the performance data you collect. Set key employee performance indicators that make sense for each employee. 

Check back with your employees monthly to see if they are on track regarding milestones you set or if they need to be adjusted. This is a great time to touch base with your employees to see if everything is ok or if you need to make adjustments. 

Employee Monitoring Software for Your Business

There are many benefits to utilizing tracking software in your workplace. The number one benefit is productivity data for your team. Additionally, you’ll have added security against hackers, malicious employees and negligent employees, and protection against the movement of sensitive data. 

With the key features available in SoftActivity monitor, you’ll be able to track which applications your employees are using, how long, the websites they are visiting, and if data files are moved on your computer. On top of that, you can activate keystroke logging features to ensure your employees aren’t trying to steal your company’s data. 

With employee monitoring software, you will protect your business and employees. Reach out to SoftActivity today!

By SoftActivity Team.

January 30th, 2023