Employee monitoring used to come in the form of managers looking over a person’s shoulder to ensure they were being productive.
However, in the era of remote work, software has taken the place of nosy managers — and it could be hurting productivity.
Now, despite employees working from the confines of their home, leaders have more insight into how workers spend their day. From password sharing to keystroke measuring, workers are being watched more now than they ever were in the office.
While the intent is to ensure workers are staying on task under a remote work model, it has had many adverse effects on professionals.
Research from ExpressVPN shows that 80% of leaders were utilizing monitoring software in 2021, using these tools far beyond just monitoring computer activity. Some companies are finding that this software can help collect “predictive analytics about whether a worker is likely to, for example, ask for a raise or leave for another job,” according to Karen Levy, associate professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University.
While some companies that deal with confidential information require secure software for remote workers, others look for loose applications, which has been linked to retaliation from employees. To avoid this, Levy recommends that leaders are fully transparent and receive feedback from employees.
“A clear place to start is, in a meaningful way, to bring workers into the process of determining what technology will be used, how the data it collects will be treated and who will have access to those data, and really thinking through how the technology can help workers to accomplish their work, rather than as a threat or a policing tool,” said Levy.