A survey by Salary. Being able to see the URLs your team visits while on the clock can be helpful for onboarding new team members or addressing potential productivity concerns. Of course, some jobs make this type of monitoring challenging. A social media manager, for instance, will visit Facebook as part of their daily tasks. Or you can see if they lack the tools or training they need to get the job done. Employees that are handling sensitive company data or patient information are putting themselves and their company at risk by visiting certain sites. URL-blocking and web-filtering are higher levels of monitoring for those who need it.
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Many employers will restrict their employees from visiting websites with wholly inappropriate content for example, pornography. Some employee monitoring software offers detailed social media monitoring. In these cases, you can see who is logging on to Instagram, how often, and for how long.
Many companies have taken such a long time to offer remote work because they assume that the observer has to be in the same room as the observed. Screen capture technology aims to address this. Many tools, like Hubstaff, are only interested in capturing the work done on the device. This is useful for managers and helps cut down on employees having to provide constant updates on their work. On the other hand are apps that take random web camera images of employees or tools that keep their video on while working.
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This level of monitoring crosses over from understanding productivity into serious privacy concerns. Time tracking features give team members the power to clock in and clock out with the touch of a button. Employees can record exactly how long they worked each day. And, depending on the tool, how long they worked on a specific project or task. Managers can use time tracking data to create better estimates and budgets in the future. Many industries track time for their teams, including agencies, developers, lawyers, and consultants.
A deeper level of monitoring might look like file tracking, transfers, and conversions. And also, the recording of USB and printer access and use.
For example, managers can see which employees edited which files, when, and how. Keyloggers record every keystroke made on a computer in a readable file. The intent is to keep employees focused on work-related tasks. Second, employees cannot tell if a keylogger is recording their keystrokes or not. This lack of transparency makes workers nervous and anxious. Tracking the location of mobile employees is also on the rise. Using the GPS functionality in a company vehicle, work phone or personal device, managers can determine where their employees are at a given time.
They can also review historical data, such as the routes taken between customer sites.
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Companies with field service teams such as landscapers or HVAC technicians use this data to estimate arrival times and to communicate that with clients. More than half of all employers check employees' emails. This helps companies identify issues before they become problems. Also, it can be useful when settling disputes.
To give you an example, a Massachusetts judge ordered a company to examine the emails of two employees charged with sexual harassment.
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Proponents of email monitoring say that it helps identify sensitive data leaving the company or disgruntled employees who are at risk of leaving. Recording staff interactions with clients, users, prospects, or suppliers is helpful for a variety of reasons. Then, you can ask your other team members to do the same.
Meanwhile, if someone gets poor feedback, you can uncover why by listening to their calls. Customer support and sales teams are two of the most common departments relying on this practice.
Still, it is not a very effective work monitoring tool. The practice of leaving voicemails has all but died out. Instant messengers, like Slack, and softphone software, like WhatsApp and Skype, have replaced phone calls, voicemail, and texting because they are faster, more powerful, and cheaper to use. Remote workers rely on these tools to collaborate, send and receive data, and even socialize. As such, some employee monitoring tools enable managers to track how workers use the software either in real-time or by reviewing recorded information later.
Generally, employers just want to know that data is being shared efficiently and securely. This method can also help settle disputes, such as workplace bullying. Closed-circuit television CCTV cameras remain a useful way to monitor work locations, such as offices or construction sites. Beyond encouraging employees to behave and work efficiently, they are a deterrent for thieves.
The remote work equivalent is to watch employees through their webcams via live feeds or frequent photo capture. Again, this is a contentious method. It has little to do with the actual work and more with having the ability to directly see what people are doing all day. With proof of work apps, you can cut this cash leak. The average worker attends 62 meetings a month, but more than a third are unproductive. Work monitoring tools help employees collaborate better. Thus, avoiding the need for yet another meeting.
And as we have mentioned, productivity rises, as well. Japanese tech company Hitachi developed a smart badge-like ID device for tracking employee happiness, based on "distinct physical movements. Amazon has used wristbands that buzz if an employee is reaching for the wrong item. That said, regular employee surveys and check-ins with direct reports might alert you to the same thing in a less invasive way. Entrepreneurs, executives, team leaders and employees can all stand to gain something from employee monitoring software.
The typical full-time team member is paid for 8 hours of work each day. But on average, eight hours are wasted each week. However, it can be difficult to know where these inefficiencies are coming from without accurate time tracking. Your team likely feels the same way. Time tracking apps can show you how much time was spent in meetings over a week or month, and the activity levels such as mouse and keyboard usage for each person. Most of the time, one person can summarize the meeting or next steps and share with the full team afterward.
This way, you can give team members more time for deep work instead of having them tune into a meeting they may or may not need to be a part of. Having more insight into what your team members are doing lets you catch mistakes before they spiral out of control. As a team member, this can save you from the frustration of spending hours headed in the wrong direction, only to have to pivot later on. Maybe you notice one of your employees has started working on a low-priority project, but you really need him to focus his efforts on a more timely or important task.
As an employee, you have visible proof of how long tasks take.