Want to start monitoring employees at work? Today’s privacy-conscious world demands transparency, minimal invasiveness. And respect for employee privacy when it comes to monitoring employees. In these tips. Employers can minimize the impact of monitoring on employee privacy so that their employee monitoring strategy is as effective as possible.
1) Transparency: Get the consent of workers to be monitored
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Employees who are not aware that they are being monitored. Employers. why they are being monitored. And how they are being monitored are less likely to receive monitoring by their employer. Organizations that are fully transparent with their methods and motivations will have a higher acceptance rate and minimize the invasion that employees feel while being monitored.
Best Practices To Improve Transparency
- Disclose the scope of employee monitoring during orientation and in the employee manual/policy
- Ensure that employees understand how data is collected. What data is collected. And how it will be used
- During the planning process. Involve a representative sampling of employees
- Give employees access to their own data so they can see exactly what is being reported.
Note: Companies subject to GDPR should not rely on employee consent as the sole justification for monitoring employees. The power imbalance inherent in the employees/employees relationship has a significant effect on the employee’s ability to resist. These employers should combine employee consent with other efforts to minimize the privacy impact of employee monitoring.
2) Use Employee Monitoring Software for Employee Benefits
She is using a laptop computer with software installed which allows her to monitor employees.
An Accenture business study found that 92% of workers are open to monitoring by their employer. But only if the employer uses it to benefit employees. Be sure to emphasize the concrete benefits that monitoring employees will provide.
Self monitoring. Employees who are empowered to increase their own productivity perform better than those who feel subject to micromanagement.
Increased opportunities. Employee monitoring increases visibility. This increased visibility allows employers to give their employees greater flexibility in their schedules and work styles.
Better resource management. Workforce analytics data drives business intelligence. Providing managers with the data they need to improve resource allocation and prevent employees from working too hard.
Evidence of effort. Monitoring data clearly shows overall workforce engagement. This helps highlight productive and engaged employees who may not have been noticed.
3) Limit the Invasiveness of Employee Supervision
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Reduce Privacy Impact by Monitoring Only What’s Necessary
A privacy-first employee monitoring strategy tracks the minimum input required to meet stated objectives. For example. If the stated goal is to enforce a documented acceptable use policy. This goal can be met immediately through monitoring employee internet activity. Capturing a webcam feed and tracking individual keystrokes would be far more invasive than necessary.
Only Use Data For The Purposes Stated
Lack of predictability leads to increased perception of invasiveness among employees. Monitoring data for the stated purpose increases employee confidence in the fair and responsible use of monitoring data.
Respect Personal Device Limits
Employees have reasonable expectations of privacy on their personal devices. Even if they use them for work purposes. Employee monitoring solutions that limit data collection to business hours can reduce privacy impacts. Although the potential to capture personal computer activity may remain a concern. This can be reduced by limiting monitoring of internal network traffic rather than directly monitoring network-connected devices.
4) Use Data Fairly When Monitoring Employees at Work
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Focus on aggregated data rather than individual data
Employers should refer to aggregated data for insights rather than addressing specific employee usage. The enforcement of individual computer use should be limited to clear violation of the law, such as access to pornography or legal violations.
5) Don’t use computer activity data as the only performance indicator
A period of computer inactivity is not a sure sign of discharge. Work-related tasks such as creative thinking, planning. And phone calls are not often reflected in computer activity data. Employee monitoring data is best used to study trends. Estimate overall engagement levels, and find significant deviations in activity.
Don’t make important decisions based solely on the data collected
Promoting a new employee. Keeping an employee on board. And negotiating a salary are all high-impact decisions. In the absence of an actual indicator of quality of work. Computer activity should inform decisions. Not be used to determine them. This is especially true for automated decision making. Which is prohibited under the GDPR.
6) Protect Computer Monitoring Software Data From Abuse
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Employee monitoring data can be very sensitive. Employers. For monitoring data to prevent misuse or leak to unauthorized parties. Organizations must implement adequate security measures.
Restrict data access to privileged individuals who have an immediate need for data
Measures should be taken to prevent data theft from USB devices
Dispose of obsolete data periodically
Managers with access to employee monitoring data should be trained on the organization’s policies around the acceptable use of such data.
7) Monitoring employees who work from home
The man sitting on his sofa. Employers. He was using a laptop and was clearly thinking deeply.
Understanding that employees who work from their homes will perceive employee monitoring as more intrusive is important. Fortunately. Most of the same strategies used to monitor employees in the office also apply to remote workers. There are a few unique aspects to monitoring employees who work from home in addition to those mentioned above.
Tips for monitoring employees who work from home
Don’t monitor your employees’ personal devices
Do not record audio or video from devices that will be used in employees’ homes
Employees with flexible schedules may have erratic work patterns. This should not be treated as a sign of letting go.
Don’t interpret employees with lower computer activity as less productive. They may be working on tasks adjacent to untraceable work.
Employee Monitoring Case Study
Shady Maple Follows Best Practices
Using reports to analyze and reconfigure priorities are also viewed as valuable tools by employees!” – Kevin Porsche. IT Admin. Shady Maple Farm Market
The Shady Maple company manages employee productivity by using employee monitoring software and web filtering. They implement acceptable use of technology in the workplace by implementing employee monitoring software and web filtering.
As Shady Maple expanded rapidly, they realized that their productivity management methods needed to change. Unproductive web browsing and file downloads overload their available bandwidth and annoy their employees. Without centralized access to web activity data, they have no way of dealing with this abuse of corporate resources.
Employee monitoring reports from BrowseReporter give Shady Maple the precise insights they need to tackle technology abuse in the workplace. They can easily identify websites that are responsible for excessive bandwidth consumption. Deal with inappropriate web activity at work. And give employees the opportunity to self-manage their non-work web browsing.
The category web filtering in BrowseControl provides Shady Maple with a practical and quick way to block pornographic or other unacceptable content that is known to contain for their workplace.
Improved bandwidth availability. Using bandwidth usage reports. Shady Maple employees are able to learn about internet usage policies and block infrequently abused and inefficient websites. Employees are pleased with the increased productivity brought about by the increased network speed.
A safer workplace. By preventing unsafe or inappropriate websites from entering their network. Shade Maple protects their employees and network. Continuous monitoring and web filtering become an integral part of their operations. Enabling them to detect and block high-risk web activity.
Greater employee engagement. Direct access to their own web activity reports empowers Shady Maple employees to self-manage their productivity. With a scalable way to manage internet abuse without sacrificing autonomy. Shady Maple immediately saw an increase in the productivity of their employees.
Data information management. Employee monitoring reports give Shady Maple’s Human Resources department the ability to present tangible evidence of reluctance to underperforming employees.
Barclays Lack of Transparency Backfires
“The pressure this creates is beyond expectation. This shows an indifference to the welfare of employees. Employees worry about getting away from their desks, full lunch breaks. Bathroom breaks or even getting up to fetch water because we don’t realize the impact this might have on our stats” – Whistleblower Barclays via City AM
Barclays is a bank based in the UK. When processing the data of European citizens. They are expected to comply with the GDPR data processing requirements. A privacy watchdog in the UK conducted an investigation into their employee monitoring practices in August 2020 based on a lack of transparency surrounding their practices.
Barclays installs productivity monitoring software on their employees’ workplaces without their knowledge, consultation. Or consent. Employees unexpectedly start receiving automated alerts once they fall below a certain activity threshold. The time employees typically spend off their computers becomes a source of inactivity that programs use to determine who will receive alerts.
Because Barclays did not communicate their intentions before implementing the solution. Their employees were unsure how their activity data would be used. They become increasingly concerned that time spent away from their desks. Full lunch breaks. Or bathroom breaks will be used against them in performance evaluations.
Employee monitoring is an important business intelligence tool that increases productivity and gives employers valuable insights into their workforce. Organizations that keep employee privacy at the forefront increase the acceptance rate of their monitoring strategies so that they can make the most of these benefits.