Recently Wired published an incendiary piece taking aim on employee monitoring software. It highlighted the fact that spying on your employees is bad, and that relying solely on monitoring software to gauge employee productivity is not entirely accurate.
Technically Wired is right, on both counts. No one is really going to argue that misusing employee monitoring software to intrusively spy on employees is good, or that it is the only accurate way to gauge productivity. But in most cases, employee monitoring software isn’t used for either of those purposes.
Instead, the current prevalence of monitoring software is mostly for a different reason: Data security. Per Health IT Security Stats, 58% of healthcare protected health information (PHI) data breaches were caused by insiders. Similarly, a Kaspersky survey found that careless or uninformed staff contributed to 46% of cybersecurity incidents during the last year.
To put it simply, a significant number of data breaches are caused intentionally or accidentally by insiders with access – and that is what employee monitoring software is seen as a solution to.
As more and more legislation is passed that places the onus on companies to protect the private data of individuals – ignoring the potential data breaches and loss that could be caused by insiders is simply not an option. Proactive measures need to be taken using employee monitoring software for compliance, security, and forensics should a breach occur.
But at the same time, it is important that employees don’t feel that they are being spied on, with a big brother-esque system watching their every move. Largely that boils down to the manner in which employee monitoring software is used.
Clarity and Transparency
At the end of the day, it is important to note that the use cases described in Wired’s piece are not examples of use, but rather the misuse of employee monitoring software. When used in the right way, software such as the Work Examiner Monitoring Platform won’t cause concern for employees.
The key to using WorkExaminer effectively to monitor employees is clarity and transparency. At all times employees should be aware of how they are being monitored, what data is being collected, and most importantly why it is necessary.
At the same time, a clear set of guidelines for acceptable use of company workstations and internet resources should be set out. It should highlight any restrictions and blocks or filters that WorkExaminer (workexaminer) may put in place.
Within WorkExaminer there is a wide range of features that companies can use to track and monitor employees. It can capture screenshots, record keystrokes, track time spent on websites and applications, search emails, log file transfers, and much more.
It is important to note however that not all companies need to use the full capabilities of WorkExaminer. Instead, it is best for each one to decide what type of monitoring they require for compliance and security, and make sure that it won’t restrict their employees unreasonably.
Suffice to say there is no reason why WorkExaminer and other employee monitoring software need to be the elephant in the room. So long as used in a clear and transparent manner, they can avoid the creepy undertones of ‘spying’ on employees.