Implementing employee monitoring software - WorkTime

July 11, 2023

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10 min read

Dos and don’ts when implementing employee monitoring software

For over 25 years, WorkTime has been a trusted provider of non-invasive employee monitoring solutions for companies.

What’s employee monitoring software and why is it used?

Employee monitoring is a contemporary approach to managing and overseeing personnel, employing a diverse range of tools and technologies to observe employee actions within the workplace. The primary objectives of employee monitoring include ensuring adherence to company policies and regulations, enhancing productivity, safeguarding confidential company information, and sustaining workforce efficiency.

The advantages of employee monitoring encompass the following: increasing productivity, risk reduction, resource allocation, performance evaluation and feedback.

WorkTime serves as an excellent tool for improving efficiency and productivity within organizations.

Companies worldwide utilize employee monitoring for various purposes, ranging from quality control to monitoring employee well-being. Based on WorkTime's experience, the main uses of employee monitoring in companies are as follows: Productivity improvement: Employee monitoring enables companies to track and measure employee productivity and performance levels. This allows for the identification of areas where employees may face challenges and opportunities for improvement. By monitoring work activities, companies can optimize workflows, establish realistic goals, and provide feedback to enhance overall performance.

Employee monitoring is predominantly used to: Productivity improvement, Compliance monitoring, Employee training and development, to track workflow.

Compliance monitoring: Certain industries are subject to specific legal and regulatory requirements. Employee monitoring aids organizations in ensuring compliance with these obligations. For instance, in the finance or healthcare sectors, companies may need to monitor and record employee communications to adhere to regulatory frameworks such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

WorkTime productivity monitoring features, for example, enable healthcare organizations to comply with HIPAA regulations while respecting employee privacy.

Employee training and development: Monitoring tools can assess employee skills and pinpoint areas that require additional training or support. Analyzing employee performance data allows companies to design targeted training programs to enhance employee skills and knowledge, benefiting both the employee and the organization. Remote work: With the increasing prevalence of remote work, monitoring tools play an essential role in facilitating communication, collaboration, and project management. These tools assist in monitoring the activities of remote employees, tracking progress, and ensuring effective teamwork, even when team members are geographically dispersed.

Concerns about employee monitoring software: FAQ

Can an employer make monitoring results public? Employers are not allowed to make the information collected by monitoring public. In most countries, this practice is prohibited by law, safeguarding personal correspondence and other private information from being exposed to the public.
Is monitoring used specifically for surveillance? No. Employee monitoring is not solely used for surveillance purposes. Its main objective is to enhance workflow efficiency and simplify workflow monitoring, benefiting both the company and its employees.
Does invasive monitoring harm employees? From an ethical perspective, invasive monitoring can be harmful to employees. It invades their privacy by accessing personal data like correspondence, browser history, and microphone recordings. Consequently, utilizing invasive monitoring methods can have detrimental effects on employee morale.
Is employee monitoring useless in the office but useful in a remote work model? Employee monitoring is not limited to office settings and can be valuable in any work model due to its flexible application. It is widely used for office employees, reducing managerial workload, boosting productivity, and identifying areas for improvement through appropriate training.
Can an employer install monitoring on an employee's personal device without their knowledge? No. Installing monitoring software on an employee's personal device without their knowledge is generally prohibited by law in many countries. Consent from the employee is necessary in such cases, as unauthorized monitoring can be seen as an invasion of privacy.
Can the wrong choice of monitoring cause employees to quit? Yes. The wrong choice of monitoring can indeed cause employees to quit. Factors like the level of invasiveness and the features of the monitoring software play an essential role. Invasive monitoring that compromises privacy will harm employees and potentially result in termination. Therefore, it is important for companies to carefully consider their approach to employee monitoring.
Can an employer monitor activities on a company device during off-hours? Unless explicitly agreed upon, employers cannot monitor employees' activities on personal devices during non-business hours. This concern is significant to employees, making it essential to communicate with employers to clarify the specifics of monitoring, including tracking outside of work hours and the potential installation on personal devices.
Does proper monitoring really improve employee performance? Yes. Proper monitoring, when implemented with a non-invasive approach, can genuinely enhance employee performance. For instance, WorkTime is a monitoring solution that has proven effective in improving productivity and workflow efficiency. Many employees using WorkTime have demonstrated increased dedication to work, with active work time rising from 30-40% to 86%, based on our experience.

Proper implementation is important

The implementation of employee monitoring in a company can be a challenging process for both employees and managers. It requires careful consideration of various aspects, such as effectively explaining the need for monitoring to employees and ensuring that their privacy and personal lives are respected. Based on WorkTime's 25 years of experience in non-invasive employee monitoring, here are some key points to avoid during implementation: Announcing the implementation without explanation: Merely announcing the implementation of monitoring without providing sufficient details can cause uncertainty and raise concerns among employees regarding their personal data security. It is essential to clearly communicate the reasons for implementing monitoring and the goals the company aims to achieve. Failing to do so may lead employees to assume negative intentions on the part of the employer, resulting in increased resistance to monitoring.

It is important to properly announce the implementation of monitoring, as it may affect the future experience with employee monitoring.

Lack of transparency: During the implementation phase, it is important to be transparent about what aspects will be monitored, such as internet traffic or keystrokes. Withholding such information and revealing it after monitoring has been implemented can undermine employees' trust in the employer and damage the employer-employee relationship. Employees should be informed upfront about the specific monitoring features that will be utilized. Excessive surveillance: Monitoring should be proportionate to its intended purpose. Excessive supervision can create an environment of constant surveillance, leading to increased stress, decreased morale, and a negative impact on employee well-being.

Excessive monitoring of employees can cause ethical problems between employer and employee.

Ignoring employee feedback: It is important to actively listen to employee concerns and feedback during the implementation of monitoring. Engaging in open dialogue, addressing questions, and considering employees' opinions are essential. Taking employee feedback into account when developing monitoring policies fosters a sense of fairness, reasonableness, and responsiveness to their needs. Lack of policies and guidelines: Implementing monitoring without clear policies and guidelines can result in confusion and inconsistency. It is important to establish comprehensive policies that outline the purpose, scope, and limitations of monitoring. Provide guidance on the acceptable use of company resources, expected behavior, and the consequences of policy violations. Employees should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Experts: 3 essential principles of employee monitoring

Stay ethical standards

Indeed, the ethics of monitoring is an important aspect to consider when implementing employee monitoring. It is essential to prioritize transparency and respect for employees' privacy. Here are four tips recommended by Entrepreneur to ensure ethical monitoring practices: 1. Covert employee monitoring It is important to inform employees in advance about the use of employee monitoring and the specific tools being employed. Keeping monitoring covert can create a sense of distrust and uncertainty among employees. Transparency about monitoring practices helps foster an honest and open relationship between the employer and employees. 2. Monitoring outside of work hours If employees use work devices, such as laptops or smartphones, for personal purposes outside of work hours, it is advisable to disable monitoring during those times. This ensures that employees' personal data remains confidential and avoids any potential invasion of their privacy. 3. Personal data collection Many monitoring solutions offer invasive features such as screenshots, screen recording, video cameras, text capture, or microphone recording. It is important to establish clear boundaries and limitations on data collection, specifically restricting content capture to work-related applications. This ensures that employees' personal boundaries are respected and that sensitive personal information is not inadvertently recorded. 4. Failure to use the collected data The data collected through monitoring is typically used for analytics, identifying employee weaknesses, or assessing training needs. It is important to utilize the collected data for its intended purpose. Failure to use the data or keeping it stored without any meaningful analysis can create mistrust among employees, leading them to believe that the data is being collected for negative or unrelated purposes. Employers should ensure that the collected data is used to genuinely support employee skill development and improvement. By adhering to these ethical considerations, companies can foster a positive work environment and maintain the trust and confidence of their employees during the implementation of monitoring practices.

Keep it non-invasive

WorkTime is a reputable employee monitoring solution that offers non-invasive monitoring features. It provides organizations with valuable insights into employee productivity without resorting to excessive surveillance or invading privacy. Here are some key features and benefits of WorkTime:
Productivity tracking: WorkTime allows employers to track employees' active and idle time during work hours. It provides insights into time spent on various applications and websites, helping identify productivity trends and potential areas for improvement.
Internet and app usage monitoring: With WorkTime, employers can monitor internet usage and application activities within work-related contexts. It helps identify excessive non-work-related browsing or app usage that may affect productivity.
Data privacy: WorkTime emphasizes data privacy and security. It focuses on monitoring work-related activities, respecting employees' personal privacy by excluding personal applications, websites, and content from monitoring.
Transparent reporting: WorkTime provides detailed reports that can be shared with employees, demonstrating transparency about the monitored data. This transparency can foster trust and understanding among employees.
Compliance and policy support: WorkTime can help organizations ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements by providing monitoring data that supports policy enforcement. It assists in identifying policy violations and potential security risks.
Customization and flexibility: WorkTime offers customizable settings, allowing organizations to tailor the monitoring parameters according to their specific needs and policies. It enables organizations to focus on the metrics and data that are most relevant to their objectives.

Stay away from invasive

The employee monitoring market is predominantly occupied by invasive solutions. This is because employers prioritize establishing precise and comprehensive control over employee work. However, many employees express dissatisfaction with such monitoring due to privacy invasion, resulting in anxiety and concerns about surveillance. Numerous discussions on platforms like Reddit highlight the prevalence of invasive solutions in the market.

Invasive monitoring according to many studies including Forbes harms employees and reduces productivity.

Invasive monitoring can have adverse effects on employee morale and trust. It erodes trust within the workplace and creates a hostile environment that hinders collaboration and stifles creativity.

An alternative to invasive monitoring is WorkTime, a non-invasive solution that can replace invasive methods without compromising the well-being of the company and its employees.

Ultimately, the decision to implement invasive monitoring should be made after carefully considering an organization's specific needs, legal requirements, and ethical considerations. It is essential to strike a balance that respects employee privacy while fulfilling security, regulatory compliance, and other business needs.

How to inform your employees

When communicating the implementation of monitoring to employees, it is important to approach the process with care and clarity. Here are six tips to consider: Start with the purpose. Avoid beginning your speech with a statement like "You all will work together with monitoring from now on." This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings among employees. Instead, begin by explaining the need for monitoring and its specific purpose within the company. Explain the reasoning. Clearly articulate the reasons behind implementing monitoring. Share the expected outcomes or benefits, such as improved work efficiency or streamlined workflows. Providing this context helps employees understand the purpose and potential positive impact of monitoring. Establish a clear monitoring policy. During the announcement, outline the monitoring policy to assure employees that their privacy will be respected. Clearly communicate what will be monitored and what will not. This transparency helps alleviate concerns and build trust. Encourage objections and compromise. Let employees know that their objections and concerns are welcome. Emphasize that you are open to finding compromises or addressing specific needs. This approach shows that you value their input and are willing to support them if necessary. Avoid broad statements. Avoid statements like "From now on, all your activities will be monitored and reported to the management." Such phrases can create fear and misinterpretation among employees, leading them to believe that monitoring will extend to all aspects of their lives. Instead, focus on explaining the specific actions or areas that will be monitored. Individual discussions. Avoid stating that some employees will be monitored while others will not during the initial announcement. Instead, have individual discussions with each employee to explain the reasoning behind monitoring or non-monitoring. This approach avoids creating a sense of inequality or unfair treatment among employees.

You can read more about how to announce monitoring in another WorkTime article.

Is it necessary to inform employees about the implementation of monitoring?

Announcing the implementation of monitoring is a sensitive topic for employers. Many employers choose to remain silent and secretly track work activities. However, when employees discover this monitoring not through official communication but rather by chance while performing their job, it can evoke strong negative feelings, leading them to believe they are constantly under surveillance. The optimal approach is to proactively disclose the implementation of employee monitoring to everyone before it is put into effect. This transparent communication clarifies that the employer has no intention of surreptitiously tracking activities. Instead, monitoring is employed solely for legitimate business purposes, such as enhancing efficiency, streamlining managerial processes, or identifying areas where employees may benefit from additional training.

8 dos when implementing employee monitoring software

Implementing monitoring practices in the workplace requires a delicate balance between organizational needs and employee rights. WorkTime's comprehensive guide highlights the eight vital considerations that employers should bear in mind when introducing monitoring measures. By following these recommendations, organizations can establish a transparent, respectful, and productive work environment, fostering trust and collaboration among employees while achieving their monitoring objectives effectively. 8 most important things to consider when implementing monitoring according to WorkTime: Be transparent with employees Maintaining transparency is paramount when introducing monitoring in the workplace. Employees should be informed about the monitoring policies, including the purpose, scope, and the type of data being collected. Openly communicating the rationale behind monitoring helps establish trust and fosters a culture of transparency within the organization.
Warn employees about monitoring Prior to implementing monitoring measures, it is essential to give employees advance notice. Clearly communicate the specific monitoring methods that will be employed and how the collected data will be used. By providing this information proactively, you allow employees to adjust their behavior accordingly and reduce any potential concerns or misunderstandings.
Listen to employee requests for monitoring WorkTime advises employers to actively listen to employees' concerns and suggestions regarding monitoring. Employees may have valid reasons for requesting specific monitoring practices or adjustments. By considering their input and addressing their needs, organizations can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.
Look for compromises in case of problems Monitoring practices can sometimes generate challenges or conflicts. In such instances, it is important to seek compromises that address both organizational requirements and employee concerns. This might involve adjusting the monitoring methods, refining policies, or providing additional training and support. A balanced approach ensures that monitoring remains effective without compromising employee well-being.
Protect the data you collect WorkTime emphasizes the criticality of safeguarding the data collected through monitoring systems. Employers must implement robust security measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access or misuse. Adhering to data protection regulations and employing industry best practices ensures that employees' privacy rights are respected, fostering a culture of trust within the organization.
Do not invade privacy Respecting employee privacy is a fundamental principle when implementing monitoring practices. WorkTime advises employers to strike a balance between monitoring and respecting employees' personal space. Monitoring should be limited to work-related activities, and private conversations or personal information should not be intruded upon.
Do not monitor outside of work hours Monitoring activities should be strictly limited to work hours. WorkTime emphasizes that employees should be able to enjoy their personal lives without constant surveillance. Respecting boundaries and allowing employees to disconnect from work during non-working hours promotes a healthy work-life balance and overall well-being.
Do not use excessive monitoring WorkTime strongly advises against excessive monitoring practices that may create an intrusive and oppressive work environment. Employers should focus on collecting relevant and necessary data to fulfill organizational objectives. Excessive monitoring not only erodes trust but can also lead to increased stress, decreased morale, and diminished productivity.

3 don’ts when implementing employee monitoring software

Mistake 1: employees don’t know what’s recorded

When the employer announces the implementation of employee monitoring without providing specific details about what will be monitored, when, and for what purposes, it is likely to trigger a multitude of questions and confusion among employees. Negative effect: Employees may assume that their every move will be closely scrutinized, leading to heightened privacy related concerns and unease. Solution: To avoid such apprehension, it is essential for the employer to offer comprehensive explanations regarding the scope and objectives of the monitoring, ensuring transparency and addressing employees' queries effectively.

For example, WorkTime offers a hand-book on what’s being recorded, where you can study in detail what functions our monitoring software has and how they are implemented.

Mistake 2: employees are not informed about monitoring

If the employer fails to inform employees about the implementation of employee monitoring, and one employee happens to discover suspicious activities like message hijacking or screenshot capturing on their device, it is highly probable that the news will quickly spread throughout the office. Negative effect: Such revelations can lead to an immediate deterioration in employees' trust and attitude towards the employer. Solution: To maintain a positive work environment and foster trust, it is advisable for the employer to proactively communicate the implementation of monitoring measures, clearly articulating the reasons behind it and assuring employees of their privacy and the appropriate use of monitoring tools.

Mistake 3: employees do not know if personal data will be tracked

In a scenario where the employer announces the implementation of monitoring, explains the reasons behind it, but remains silent about whether employees' actions will be tracked on personal messengers unrelated to work or after work hours, discontent among employees may arise. Negative effect: While employees might not initially be aware of these monitoring practices, if the information is eventually disclosed, it can lead to dissatisfaction and a sense of intrusion into their personal lives. Solution: To mitigate such issues, it is essential for the employer to provide clear guidelines and communicate the boundaries of monitoring, specifying which platforms and activities are subject to scrutiny and when monitoring occurs. This clarity ensures that employees' expectations are aligned, minimizing potential discontent and preserving a harmonious work environment.

From WorkTime

4 advice from WorkTime experts

1. Maintain a non-invasive approach When implementing monitoring, thoroughly assess the company's requirements and select appropriate non-invasive tools accordingly. Steer clear of invasive spy features, as they pose significant risks and can prove detrimental to the company. In contrast, non-invasive monitoring focuses solely on enhancing the company without causing any harm. 2. Ensure compatibility While most employee monitoring solutions are compatible with Windows or Citrix server, it's essential to avoid unexpected surprises by verifying compatibility with MacOS-based systems. Prior to selecting employee monitoring software, confirm its compatibility with the devices used within your company. For instance, WorkTime seamlessly operates on Windows, MacOS, Citrix/Terminal server and Cloud based. 3. Value employee feedback on monitoring software Regrettably, it is a common practice among employers to disregard employee complaints or feedback, but this is a grave mistake. Each individual possesses unique preferences and principles that should be respected.

WorkTime incorporates a feature that enables employees to provide feedback or suggestions regarding employee monitoring.

4. Consider pricing Do not fall into the misconception that the most expensive monitoring software automatically equates to superior functionality and quality. Price does not determine the level of quality or functionality. According to research conducted by WorkTime, our software boasts some of the most competitive prices in the market, while delivering exceptional functionality. Moreover, we offer a range of pricing plans, allowing companies to select the one that aligns with their specific needs.

WorkTime - best choice of employee monitoring software

WorkTime is a leading provider of non-invasive employee monitoring software. With WorkTime software, you can eliminate unnecessary loss of employee loyalty and alleviate concerns about strained employer-employee relationships. The non-invasive monitoring approach employed by WorkTime ensures that personal privacy remains intact, without resorting to spyware or invasive control tools. Our focus is on empowering employers with effective monitoring features while safeguarding the well-being of employees. For a comprehensive understanding of WorkTime monitoring capabilities and operations, we offer a detailed handbook that covers all relevant information.

WorkTime is an ideal choice for non-invasive monitoring, offering numerous benefits such as enhanced company efficiency, cost savings, and the preservation of healthy relationships within the organization.

Let's take a look at a success story: In a Japanese banking firm, a notable decline in employee efficiency and prolonged downtime was observed. Although employees arrived on time, they would leave for extended periods unnoticed. After implementing WorkTime software, the company identified the cause of downtime and was able to implement necessary policy adjustments to restore labor discipline. Consequently, productivity skyrocketed from 30-40% to an outstanding 86%, showcasing the remarkable impact of WorkTime.

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