A major issue that leaders have run into when operating with a distributed workforce is tracking productivity. For many, the solution to this has been to adopt software that does the work for them.
Following how long an employee is on their computer, their keystrokes per hour and the interactions they have with colleagues on collaborative platforms helps leaders accurately measure how productive workers are — or so this has been the thought.
For finance executive Carol Kraemer, taking a new job as senior vice president for $200 an hour seemed like a dream-come-true. However, when her first paychecks came in, she noticed that her compensation was lower than the work she was putting out.
The problem? The software.
Her employer’s use of employee monitoring software lacked accuracy and didn’t account for offline work, such as doing math problems, reading, mentoring and just thinking.
“You’re supposed to be a trusted member of your team, but there was never any trust that you were working for the team,” said Kraemer.
This issue grows tenfold when considering lower-paid jobs. Factory workers, cashiers, and delivery drivers are all subject to this type of monitoring, but lack the strength to advocate to be paid for the work that is tracked by software.
While employers and monitoring software manufacturers argue that these tools help provide leaders with better insight into productivity levels, the faults of this technology could drive workers away.