TVs and Audio Category

What Managers Get Wrong About Employee Monitoring


CEO of DeskTime – a time tracking and productivity app for companies and freelancers. He’s also an amateur athlete and father of two.

The rise of remote and hybrid work has created a massive demand for employee monitoring software. Today, around three in four managers employ some monitoring solution to keep track of their teams. But not all monitoring tools are created equal.

Some are classic time trackers that log where (on what apps and websites) and how much time is spent. Others are more intrusive, offering real-time screen and webcam recordings, as well as access to emails and messages. Most fall somewhere in between.

For an employee, these differences matter. One might be completely fine with a basic time-tracker, given how it benefits both parties—employers can see where company time is spent, whereas the employee can use it for accountability and personal productivity.

But the power balance becomes extremely one-sided once direct surveillance is involved. There are zero benefits to the employee beyond a short-lived productivity boost induced by fear of someone (possibly) watching over your shoulder. Moreover, it’s difficult to trust managers not to abuse these privileges, especially when the reasons for implementing employee monitoring are grounded in personal anxiety and a lack of trust, as revealed by ExpressVPN’s study.

• 74% of managers say remote work makes them feel a lack of control.

• Two in three feel uneasy because they can’t observe employees in person.

ALSO READ:  Passing Down Tacit Knowledge In A Digital World

• 57% don’t trust employees to work without in-person supervision.

• 59% don’t trust employees to work without digital supervision.

A mutual lack of trust quickly snowballs into an avalanche of issues, leading to lower productivity, lower engagement, lower satisfaction and higher burnout. We won’t even touch on the ethics of such unconstrained intrusion on personal space.

What managers get wrong about employee monitoring is the idea that they need to introduce these advanced surveillance mechanisms to maintain a high level of performance from their team.

The reality is that a mix of basic time-tracking paired with concrete KPIs and frequent performance reviews is more than enough to keep people in line while giving them the freedom and flexibility they appreciate in remote work, all without invading their privacy. After all, this is how most companies did it before the remote revolution.

But these practices and knowledge will do little in the way of abating personal, often irrational, worries of managers for whom seeing the employee at work matters. Still, does such an itch justify the invasion of privacy? I believe not. Moreover, I’m certain that the next generation of managers will be better equipped to deal with a remote workforce and leave direct surveillance in the past.

At the end of the day, it boils down to trust. And while I cannot make managers trust their remote employees, I can offer reasons for doing so in the hopes that intrusive employee monitoring becomes an exception rather than the norm.

1. Data shows remote employees work longer hours.

ALSO READ:  What To Look For When Choosing A BPO Company

In a previous article, I covered how the remote and hybrid work scene has evolved over the last two years. In it, I shared the results of our latest study, one of which was the revelation that remote employees work on average an entire hour more than their in-office counterparts—notably without any drop in productivity.

In fact, this diligence has emerged as a problem—people find it difficult to unplug from remote work and often find themselves taking care of tasks at all hours of the day, leading to a heightened risk of burnout.

In other words, worries about employees potentially slacking off when nobody’s looking over their shoulder are grounded not in data but in a manager’s personal presumptions about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone—there will be people using and abusing the system. But that’s not unique to remote work. And there have always been ways of dealing with this without spying on the individual.

2. Employees benefit from time tracking, too.

Simple time-tracking solutions are sufficient to manage a remote workforce. Managers can see hours worked and how they’re spent, but so can the employees.

As a result, workers can take full advantage of flexible hours (which is one of the most appreciated factors of remote work) and work when it suits them best—as long as the time tracker shows eight hours worked. Being able to back up work done with concrete data also enhances accountability and puts workers in a position of power when negotiating a salary raise or otherwise discussing performance.

ALSO READ:  Why Employers Must Improve Employees’ Financial Well-Being

Additionally, observing your own productivity patterns enables people to optimize their schedules and individual performance. For instance, identifying peak productivity periods may push teams to avoid wasting them with unimportant meetings.

3. Employees are excited to work remotely.

Another reason why managers should trust remote employees to do right by the company is that people want to work remotely, and it makes them more excited about work—they want the flexible hours, they don’t want to commute, they want to work from anywhere, etc.

Remote work is not yet ubiquitous, and since management can call for a return to the office at any moment, people are unlikely to jeopardize the opportunity they’ve been given.

Parting Remarks

If you’ve got a remote team, chances are you’ll need a time-tracking solution for practical considerations—to keep track of hours, monitor time spent on projects, unearth unproductive practices (get rid of meetings!) and more. Still, even without surveillance features, you must be careful when introducing employee-monitoring tools to the team, as it’s sure to raise some eyebrows.

Transparent communication is vital. Let your team know why you’re doing it, what the software can and can’t do and how they themselves can take advantage of what it has to offer. This way, you’ll dispel any misconceptions about your intentions and surveillance abilities from the get-go so everyone can move forward in a healthy and united direction.


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?




Source link

admin

Nigerian Celebrity News and entertainment

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest