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Employers Risk Breach of Trust by Monitoring Remote Workers’ Computers

Remote work is a two-way relationship. Employers need to allow their staff a level of trust to carry out their work without watching over their shoulder; likewise employees need to get on with their responsibilities and remain productive.

“One of the biggest holdbacks of remote work is trust — managers simply don’t trust their people to work untethered,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. “They’re used to managing by counting butts in seats rather than by results.”

The pandemic has caused a sudden work from home ‘experiment’ which, in many cases, is proving successful for organizations. Case in point, a recent survey by CNBC among technology executives indicates that 48% of respondents to the CNBC Technology Executive Council survey for Q2 2020 said that team productivity had increased since the pandemic began. 40% said it had remained the same, while 12% cited a productivity decrease.

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The CNBC survey also found 72% of technology executives saying that team workloads had increased more and everyone was working harder.

However, new tech tools that can help companies monitor their employees’ remote work behavior could breach that trust and even lead to an invasion of privacy.

The tech in question, from companies such as ActiveTrak, Hivedesk, Teramind, Time Doctor and WorkExaminer enable companies to track the activities of their employees by installing software on their computers. It can track keystrokes, email, file transfers, applications, and how much time the employee spends on each task. They also take periodic screenshots to let managers know what is on the employee’s screen.

Lack of trust can lead to employees feeling unhappy and unmotivated, which in turn impacts wellbeing and productivity.

ABOUT Jo Meunier (née Disney)
Jo Meunier (née Disney)

Jo is AllWork's Senior Editor for the UK and Europe. Jo has worked within business centre and coworking circles since 2009, researching and contributing written features for numerous industry publications. She reports on the latest market news and delves into local issues with one main objective: to champion the flexible workspace industry and its members. Get in touch with Jo here or via [email protected]. View all posts by Jo Meunier (née Disney)

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