When employee monitoring is too invasive
There are various real-life situations where employee monitoring turns out to be excessive and too invasive. This can influence your business and your working environment, and not in the best way possible.
As experts with over 20+ years of experience in the field, we have extensive knowledge based on our customers’ needs and feedback on what is too invasive when it comes to employee monitoring.
To explain this more straightforwardly, we can say that monitoring becomes excessive or too invasive when it goes beyond your business needs because it collects too much sensitive information that might reveal private data about your employees. What’s more, when data of this nature is collected frequently, it can easily be used to micromanage employees.
Also, it is relatively easy to dive into excessive monitoring (especially if your plans are productivity monitoring and assessment). Why does this happen? Due to the range of monitoring software on the market with invasive functions that go well beyond productivity monitoring needs. Such features are neither productivity monitoring nor productivity assessment. They can inevitably result in privacy infringement, micromanagement, security breaches, and loss of reputation because they are spying or spy-like functions. Let us explain in detail.
Monitoring becomes excessive or too invasive when it goes beyond your business needs because it collects sensitive information that might reveal private data about your employees.
Spy-like monitoring functions
There is a type of software called spyware. The purpose of this software is to retain confidential information secretly. At the same time, lots of employee monitoring software uses the same functions, such as keystrokes and screenshots recording, but with a different purpose. That is why we call them spy-like, even though they are spy functions intended not for spying but monitoring.
The only case where monitoring with spy-like functions is useful is for investigation purposes. Experience has shown that they’re excessive when you only need to monitor productivity.
Lots of employee monitoring software uses functions, such as keystrokes and screenshots recording, but with a different purpose. That is why we call them spy-like, even though they are actually spy functions intended not for spying but monitoring.
The hidden danger behind spy-like functions
Sensitive information leakage
The most common problem with spy-like functions is that they might catch sensitive information, from private information to financial details. If this information leaks, it might have a powerfully negative effect on the company’s reputation. When data has been breached and exposed, there is a loss of trust and company reputation goes downhill. This may be further exacerbated by unwanted legal issues, especially if proper precautions have not been taken to avoid them.
Nobody likes a “control freak.” Of course, it’s perfectly legal for businesses to keep an eye on employees’ productivity, but continuously using these spy-like functionalities in the workplace may depict deep-rooted micromanagement. Such features in employee monitoring software will create tension at work, and a hostile work environment breeds poor productivity, trust issues, and employees begin to disengage.
Working without crossing the line
From many years of experience, we can say that the key here is to keep track of your long-standing business and monitoring objectives. Set well-defined business and monitoring objectives and, most importantly, work on accomplishing these goals without overdoing it or crossing privacy and security lines. Depending on your goals, if enhancing productivity is the top priority, focus on monitoring features that improve productivity, time management, etc.
In this respect, you might find that you do not need any spy-like features except where the company may need to use these features for investigative purposes, but, as we have mentioned above, this is not productivity monitoring.
The key here is to keep track of long-standing business and monitoring goals. Set well-defined business and monitoring objectives and most importantly, work on accomplishing them without overdoing it or crossing privacy and security lines.
Keeping your business safe
Imagine implementing employee monitoring software with spy-like functions on a daily basis. Due to the cumbersome nature of these invasive features, data security is prone to danger, and micromanagement can occur in the work environment. If the data collected is not protected very well, the company may easily be exposed to data leaks and legal issues. To keep your business safe, you might decide to avoid using any unnecessary spy-like monitoring functions but instead focus on productivity monitoring.