Recent research by Top10VPN reveals a sharp rise in demand – 75% in Q1 2022 – for employee surveillance tools and employee monitoring software. Without doubt, this relates to the increase in working from home. Nervous about a reduction in productivity, employers are looking to technology for reassurance. Covid-19 also fueled a rise in the range and functionality of these surveillance tools. Coupled with heavy marketing strategies, demand for such tools shows no sign of decline. Vendors are tying businesses into long term subscriptions or in some cases offering free or trial versions.
Employee monitoring software is a surveillance tool that helps employers track employees’ working patterns and engagement. The level of surveillance offered varies greatly and some (arguably) cross the line when it comes to privacy. Others are happy to boast about their invisibility, assuring employers that staff will be completely unaware that they are being watched. Features include:
· Monitoring Instant Messaging
· Logging keystrokes
· Alerts when users do certain actions
· Complete remote control takeover
This report by Behavioral Scientist looks at why employers feel the need to monitor employees and the impact that it has on productivity. The article highlights the issues of ethics and trust; “Monitoring employees can have benefits, but it can also decimate employee morale and, paradoxically, weaken ethical behavior.”
As an IT service provider, we are often asked about this type of technology and whether you can monitor employees, especially if working from home. The answer is technically Yes. Technologies are available if you want to use them although whether it affects your business positively or negatively is up for debate.
If you are interested in finding out more, you can view our webinar with law firm Field Seymour Parkes LLP in which we look at the technicalities and legalities of employee surveillance. We answer the question “Can I monitor my employees?” We also look at the alternatives to invasive surveillance that Microsoft provides. These applications focus on increasing productivity in staff who work from home.