Remote Employee Monitoring Software: The Pros and Cons
Should you be using remote employee monitoring software? Find out more about how it works, along with its pros and cons, and decide for yourself.
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Remote Employee Monitoring Software: The Pros and Cons
Should your company be using remote software to monitor employees? This technology runs in the background of your team’s devices and can go a long way to boosting productivity. As with all tools and resources, the software has both pros and cons. How much your company benefits from it depends largely on how you implement the programs.
Basic Remote Employee Monitoring Software Functions
Remote employee monitoring software works by tracking keystrokes, internet activity, and app usage, while also taking regular screenshots. As soon as they sit down to start working, they need to login and switch on the time clock.
The software will keep tabs on all activities originating from their workstation (in other words, their device) until they pause or stop the timer. Most of these software platforms integrate simply with all operating systems, so they can be used by employees who are traveling, working from home, or away from the office for any other reasons.
Time Tracking Is Far More Accurate
A lot of today’s most popular time tracking tools allow team members to submit estimates or edit their times, rather than running an accurate tracker. This issue is eliminated with remote monitoring software, which often even includes an automatic payroll calculator. Business owners can see exactly how much time each project is taking and pay accordingly.
Productivity Is Boosted
With remote work monitoring, productivity is scaled up in various ways. One of the most important is checking individuals’ time management and activities. By tracking a person’s time management, employers can see when they’re at their most productive, and if they’re letting long periods go by before scrambling to finish a task on deadline.
Understanding these habits can help staff members change their behaviors so that they get more done. When one employee accomplishes a lot more than their colleagues, their habits can be studied and reproduced to increase overall output. The data can also be used to identify any blocks to someone doing their best work, to put together proposals, and to plan budgets.
Security Is Better
While Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become the norm for secure remote workplaces, they still rely on different individuals accessing sites and then have the details of those activities housed in cloud-based storage. As more apps and networks undergo this cloudification, Domain Name System (DNS) attacks have risen sharply. These DNS attacks, or hijacks, can redirect users to malicious sites and wreak havoc after gaining access to their private information.
By integrating a DNS security solution and a remote monitoring system, businesses can sift through data and events, rejecting the false alarms and providing Security and Event Management (SIEM) and Secure Operations Center (SOC) infrastructures with actionable solutions. If breaches occur, it’s also easier to conduct a forensic analysis and pinpoint the time and location of the event. Overall, holistic network security is achieved.
Accountability Is Ensured
Remote employee monitoring software ensures the accountability not only of your staffers to you so that they work and share tasks properly, but of your organization to your clients. They’ll be able to see exactly how much time each task has taken your company, so they’ll have a better sense of what they’re paying for.
Time Is Saved
Your employees don’t need to do anything to run state-of-the-art, accurate tracking software; all they have to do is remember to start and stop the timer when they begin and pause or finish working. Without needing to fill in timesheets or complete other related administration, a lot of time is freed up and can be used for more profitable activities.
Simpler Setting of Work/Personal Boundaries
A ground-breaking two-year Stanford University study found that most office workers show a significant increase in productivity when they started to telecommute. At the same time, however, many employees report finding it difficult to “shut off their work brains” at the end of the day.
With remote monitoring software, staffers are required to sign out and end the tracking session when it’s time to clock off work failed to do so could constitute a securing breach. This simple action is often all that’s needed to switch into the after-hours mode, without changing physical location at all.
Employees May Feel Micromanaged or Mistrusted
Some members of your team might bristle under what they perceive as a tightening of the reigns, but this can essentially be handled by the way you implement and manage the tracking software.
For example, if you stipulate how much time an individual can spend on their social media platforms or personal errands during the day, they should still feel respected and not as if they’re being micromanaged.
The only requirement here would be that team members pause their timers when they’re not working on something for the company. In some states, you’re legally required to let employees know that you’re monitoring their web activity, and it’s a good practice in any situation because it fosters trust and compliance.
Data Privacy Can Be Compromised
Data privacy is a huge concern for almost everyone these days, and staffers may worry that their personal information will be compromised. However, if you choose a trustworthy monitoring software package that only tracks activities when an employee logs into their account, and implement a DNS security solution, this is not an issue. Explaining this clearly should alleviate any concerns.
Monitoring in the Time of Corona
As the business world continues to try and work in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the question of whether or not your company should adopt a remote work policy is virtually moot. And since this is the case, monitoring software is highly advisable.
The potential drawbacks can be negated by transparency within your team, and the advantages speak for themselves. Just make sure that you also hold regular remote meetings, where everyone uses their video function, to keep up the sense of connection and morale among your staff.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.
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