These days, almost 80% of employers are using work tracking and monitoring software to fight remote performance issues. Such software can create a real boost in your employees’ understanding that they should be working, even from home. Though, are there any negative points in these apps?
Below, you will find a list of pros and cons in the use of what is often becoming known as “bossware” in the workplace. As you read through, you should gain a better understanding of how such a productivity platform can affect the workers in your employment.
Pro: Higher Productivity with Monitoring Software
When workers know you are observing employee productivity, they tend to be more aware of any time they might waste. Because of this, they will rarely spend their time engaging in frivolous activities. You can also catch up with them if they stray too close to doing things unrelated to their work schedule.
In simple terms, your employees will watch less TV and spend less time on social media while at work. They will have a much higher level of focus and thus can complete tasks much faster.
Con: Privacy Fears
Your employees may have a legacy of managers using such software for illegitimate reasons. When hiring from around the world, you cannot always have the same assurances about the working conditions your team has endured in the past. Because of this, they might be very wary of using it in the future and demand you justify your use of it.
Depending on whether the employee is using their own hardware or any you provide, they may not wish to install any new software. This can be a bottleneck to you even getting the concept off of the ground with security-conscious employees.
Pro: Higher Level of Trust and Accountability
As your employees use this software, you can have a much better idea of whether each one is working at any time. The data you receive on each worker can show you how much focus they have. Sometimes, this can offer you a worker productivity score or similar stat you can use to compare everyone working for you.
Because you will have proof of every worker’s focus, you can trust those with higher scores will focus more on the tasks you give them. You can also hold those whose scores drop accountable for their loss of productivity.
Con: Morale Drop
Monitoring software has a very bad reputation, and it is not without merit. There are many horror stories of managers who use such software to snoop on their employees when they should not. Another issue is employees might start to feel oppressed by a “Big Brother” style mood in their remote office.
The best way around this is by proving with your actions there is nothing to worry about. Still, while you can offer assurances about your own actions, other managers may have different moods when it comes to such software. It can start to impact how employees feel about working with you.
Pro: Better Collaboration and Communication
After you start monitoring employees, you can get much better information on what work they are doing and how long it is taking. This allows you to check on where your company needs extra focus and support.
Many times, people might be too wary to ask for help, so noticing when people are spending too long on one task can allow you to take the initiative.
Some monitoring software detects both the task people you are on and the applications or sites they have open. Through this, you can see more detail on how hard they are working on each aspect of a task. You can then guide others with specific expertise toward collaborating with that worker.
Con: Lower Creativity and Reduced Innovation
If employees feel someone is watching their Internet use, they are less likely to research by using the Internet. A lot of innovation comes from learning from others, and watching what the competition is doing is a big part of that. Losing this ability to keep an eye on competitors without fearing Big Brother can slow that down.
When managers track tasks, their workers also aim to get work done as fast as possible in a standardized way. This reduces the number of risks they are willing to take and means they might instead take the safer and less creative option every time.
Pro: Higher Level of Security
Monitoring software can sometimes track inbound and outgoing traffic to a computer. If it looks like it is over and above what the employee intends, you might have issues related to security. Your IT personnel can keep an eye on this and ensure there are no problems moving forward.
Such truth goes double if your employees work with sensitive data, as you should always ensure such computers remain secure. Monitoring software can give you that extra level of reassurance.
Pro: Regulation or Contract Compliance
If you work in certain industries, you may have to deal with privacy regulations. One example of this is if your employees access medical patient data and the need to follow HIPAA.
Make sure the monitoring software does not feed back information on patient data if the person monitoring it is not cleared to view it. Also, make sure the app stores any screenshots securely.
Con: Legal Issues
Depending on the country your employee is in, there may be legal issues related to monitoring software. This is even true if your employees are in a somewhat laissez-faire country, such as the United States. There, there are still legal concerns you should ensure you are aware of.
Talk to a lawyer before engaging hard in the monitoring of your employees. For example, check you can make sure they are not tracked when they are not working. Also, make sure they are always aware if their camera is active.
Seek Out Remote Workers
This article should have given you a good idea of both the benefits and drawbacks of employee monitoring software. They can be a real boon when hiring remote workers, so long as you are aware of issues they can foster. So, now might be the perfect time to look into an international workforce.
We can empower you to pick up employees all over the world. Our experts are specialists in helping people like you hire the perfect team for the job you have in mind. All you need to do is get in contact and we can start the process.