Rational and Ethical Employee Monitoring Software

Man working on four screens

An amazingly large chunk of employees and knowledge workers make use of digital devices to get the work done. Many people around the world spend the 8 work hours constantly using their laptops or PCs and getting the work done.

No wonder, the power of the digital tools and the internet is immense, but it is also an abyss in which people fall often and lose a lot of their time. No matter how diligent you are, you are prone to falling a prey to the tremendously enticing internet and its many forms.

This problem plagues all the businesses around the world but the managers have found the solution in shape of Employee Monitoring Software.

Stealthy Employee Surveillance

Closely monitoring the employee draws many varied opinions and is often seen as controversial. Despite the negative connotations, the industry is on the rise. The worth of Employee Monitoring Industry is $220 million and in the near future it is expected to rise to $550 million, according to 451 Research, a New York Information Technology Research Firm.

The managers feel that monitoring is imperative because they want to save time and money and want the business to progress quickly. The employee tracking software have progressed a great deal as previously they performed URL tracking and keystroke logging to estimate employee activity. Today, they perform stealthy monitoring for the employee activities and keep track of all the activities of the employees.

Is Employee Monitoring Rational

The big question is ‘Is it rational to keep a hawk-eye on your employees’? And if you ask the business managers, they will shed light on not only the rationality but also the cruciality of it.

According to managers, watching over the employees is important because,


  1. It delivers deep insights into the productivity of human resources at hand.If the employees are wasting a lot more time than you can possibly afford, then a good quality software that monitors the employees can guide you towards making decisions for the sake of the sustainability of the business.
  2. Monitoring your employees is not only a way to ensure productivity of your employees, it can save your company from potential corporate data theft. Effective monitoring can make sure that your employees do not fall prey to hazy web applications that steal data and abuse it.
  3. Monitoring the employees would make sure that the employees are complying with the laws and regulations while conducting official activities. Failure to comply with the standard and acceptable practises can land a corporation in messy legal and financial situation. For instance, Irish based book-marker Paddy Power was fined for £310,000 due to non-compliance in carrying out standard KYC checks into clients.

The reasons stated above imply that monitoring practices are, indeed, very important and crucial for the business to sustain and progress.
But is the practise of monitoring your employees ethical?

Is the use of Employee Monitoring Software Ethical

 

Employee using facebook

 

Many employees frown upon the use of Time Tracking and Monitoring tools.

They feel violated. They feel that the scrutiny is slavish. Some employees even complain that been constantly scrutinised makes them nervous and hampers the productivity — instead of improving it.

The balance of monitoring the employees leans in the favour of employers.

There are no laws in the US that prevent employers from monitoring their employees during the work hours. And the monitoring could be audio or visual in nature. So in the legalese terms, it is not a felony to watch over the employees.

To make this legal procedure ethical as well, companies can and should follow some guidelines to make the whole process bearable and seamless.


  1. If your company monitors the employees, make sure that this is clearly mentioned in the company policies and is common knowledge among the employees. Monitoring employees without informing them might be legal but it is definitely not ethical. The full disclosure about stealthy monitoring will make the process a lot more ethical and acceptable.
  2. Set boundaries for the monitoring practices. The surveillance should only happen during the work hours, not during the break hours and certainly never after the work hours. Moreover, only personnel concerned with Human Resources affairs should have access to the monitoring tools.
  3. There is a thin line between monitoring and interfering in the work activities. Employee surveillance should not give the employers and managers the license to question each and every move as it is hurdle in smooth work flow. Too much vigilance can deter the productivity as employees inevitably get confined to follow the set patterns and do not tread the unexplored terrains.
  4. Employees and employers need to develop a bond of trust. Only then, the employees would understand that the monitoring is carried out to boost the productivity and take care of compliance issues instead of targeting the employees negatively. By doing this, it will be easier for the employees to accept the monitoring practices.

Conclusion

The realm of monitoring and surveillance of employees is grey area. But it’s legal nature and utility to save businesses from disastrous situations makes it a reality of the Corporate World.

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