One of the most important questions arising behind any company manager before implementing Employee Monitoring is: “How much employee monitoring is too much?” Let’s find the right answer.
Employers are within their right to monitor employees while working hours. But types of employee monitoring may vary from video surveillance to keylogging. The question is “Where’s the edge of privacy and respect?”
Most major companies (78%) monitor their employees’ Internet use (63%), phone and emails content (47%) (by American Management Association) in 2017. By way of contrast, only 35% of companies implemented monitoring solutions in 1997.
This data show employee monitoring became an everyday activity for many companies. According to AMA:
“In fact, 99% of the population will be fine without electronic surveillance; fewer than 1% of employees are causing the damage that allows all of the bad stuff for employers to kick in.”
So, let’s talk about how to keep the healthy balance between micromanagement / forbidding any personal activities while working hours and 100% trust without additional monitoring. Here’re 5 Dos and DON’Ts to adopt all pros of tracking productivity and avoid its cons:
- Create a social media, internet, BYOD and email policy for your employees. Give a lot of examples.
Constantly communicate this policy requirements and your expectations in order employees couldn’t misunderstand any point.
- Include in this policy points regarding not only forbidding something but also the allowing ones, eg.:
“An employee may spend X min per working day for personal internet use” (we all love Black Friday and other sales and sometimes can’t resist placing an order to save some money. So give your employees a chance to do it without feeling like criminals).
- Develop in your company the culture of trust: implement self-monitoring personal time at work for your employees.
This way you show your trust to employees and they have a freedom for some personal internet usage or phone calls absolutely legally.
But deal with those who cross the line on a case-by-case basis.
- Consider NOT to monitor at all company’s hard-working employees to avoid overwhelm and mistrust.
There are always committed employees who answer emails even at 9 pm and pay a project even more attention than you ever expect:
“Indeed, employees spend an average of 3.7 hours a week on the Web for personal activities at work and 5.9 hours a week online at home doing work-related tasks, according to a study by the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business and Rockbridge Associates, a market research firm based in Great Falls, Virginia.”
- Do not forget to communicate your employees the company’s general monitoring policy. They have the right to know they are under monitoring. Remember, it’s hardly legal to implement and perform any employee monitoring in a hidden manner.
Online abuse of time regularly happens at workplaces. And your challenge as an employer is keeping the healthy balance of employee monitoring.
Use any opportunity to create the environment where employees feel trusted. If you feel some issue exists, look a bit closer to the potential abuser instead of wasting time for researching all employees’ productivity reports.
This could help avoiding 9 to 5 mentality and sneaky behavior and give your company level up as an employer.
- Read more about our own employee monitoring solution WorkTime and its cloud version.
- Find real cases how WorkTime solved TOP business issues for its customers.