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Before the coronavirus pandemic, companies have always been asking questions about how to maintain and sustain productivity levels in their workspaces. Then Covid-19 showed up, and along with it, remote working, and that conversation became much more complicated.

Working from home became rampant and necessary, and many businesses even realized it accrued more benefits, such as lesser costs, while enhancing business operations and spending less on office space. 

However, the old fear of productivity came hurtling back into the minds of managers and administrators. Questions such as, “how would we monitor staff productivity?” and “Would this result in massive declines in revenues?” were common. Finding a digital solution to this became the order of the day. 

Then came a possible answer, employee monitoring software. 

Currently, there is such an abundance of tools and software to digitally track employees that the only problem is deciding which would fit your “corporate surveillance” (the business term for employee monitoring). In fact, global demand for tools and software for this purpose has shot up by 58% compared to pre-pandemic numbers. 

These tools have many features, such as live video feed, keystroke recording, screen capturing, location tracking, and data usage. As one of the numerous features, screen capture helps to capture an employee’s work screen once every ten minutes to average their productivity levels. However, there are many issues this adoption raises. 

Monitoring Might Not Be the Best Thing to Do

While business managers and owners have found a way to monitor employee work levels and productivity, it comes with many risks. 

Monitoring your employees builds up resistance and destroys trust and reliability among employees. Many professionals believe that the data gathered during digital employee tracking is highly susceptible to mishandling and malicious use. 

This induces new levels of stress and generates less confidence in employees. Being subjected to surveillance makes one feel less human, and trying to work while being monitored causes burnout and workplace dissatisfaction. Ironically, all these cause a drop in productivity, the very problem business owners and managers are trying to address through the use of employee tracking tools and software. 

It might not be long before it becomes a topic among business owners and workers; after all, Google employees allegedly got upset at the latter end of 2019 when they found out they were being monitored to suppress and eliminate internal dissent. It’s no surprise there have been more insider threats in recent years. 

There’s More!

Also, while many companies still believe in the numerous advantages of corporate surveillance, it might be redundant to take up these measures. 

New trends are coming up in the business world in recent times, some of them focusing on engendering employee experience, especially on the ideals of inclusion and diversity. Having strict policies on employee monitoring does not support the purpose of improving employee experience, and employees are looking out for these qualities when looking to work for companies. 

A Flexjobs survey found that 30% of employees say they want to quit their jobs, and the number one reason why was toxic company culture. This brings back the age-old problem of retention for businesses, along with the issues of high costs of hiring, training, and onboarding new staff. Weighing both options (employing employee tracking tools against the difficulties of retention and new staff hiring) retention beats surveillance for most organizations.

However, it is expected that many companies would still implement this surveillance software simply because profits sustain businesses. Moreover, one way to make this work is to find a balance between both aspects. This is a possible opening that might work; when employees are convinced that they are being watched solely for their benefit and then the benefits of the company, then businesses might just be able to manage both aspects at once. Respecting your employees comes first, but so does the business. 

Ways To Integrate Employee Digital Tracking 

Below are some ways to balance the equation and effectively employ employee digital tracking: 

Employ sparingly

Employee monitoring might have more advantages, and businesses opting for that are not wrong, especially in times like these. But employees are people, and they are the soul of the business; without them, your business would not be run as efficiently as possible.

Hence, finding as many means as possible to cut back on digital employee tracking is essential. It should be integrated in subtle ways that don’t hinder productivity or morale. This will communicate reliability and trust to staff. 

Employees are your most precious assets. Replacing them costs a lot, and training them costs much, although not as much as replacing them. It’s your job to improve productivity; however, doing that should not come at the risk of losing employees. 

Be open

A requisite of respect is communicating openly and honestly. Taking time to explain to your employees why you’re tracking them shows that you respect them, their feelings, and their opinions. Also, allow them to give feedback. They need to know and understand why they are being monitored and how it benefits them and the company. 

Strive to create a system that considers feedback and decision appeal, which should also be as open as possible. Openness increases the rate at which employees will accept the changes. 

Having IT Issues? Let B-Comp Handle It!

B-Comp Services is an IT solutions provider offering numerous IT services out of Westminster, Colorado. If you have any issues with your business’ IT operations, contact us for a free consultation.

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