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April 13, 2024

How Common is It for Businesses to Monitor Employees and What Tools Do They Use?

Employee monitoring is the process of using tools and software to track employee activity and ensure team efficiency. It is a highly controversial practice with many stakeholders, some of whom strongly oppose it, and others strongly support it. 

This article will look at recent employee monitoring statistics to see how common employee monitoring has become at companies throughout the US.

We will also examine the many advantages and disadvantages of workplace monitoring and the types of tools you can use, such as a free time clock

Statistics on the frequency of workplace monitoring

Employee monitoring is increasing with hybrid and remote work. 78% of businesses now use employee monitoring tools to track online activity and work performance. 94% of businesses track emails, and the same percentage track time. 75% use software that takes screenshots. 73% use recordings to conduct performance reviews—finally, 59% track keyboard and mouse movements.

These statistics are vital because they demonstrate the prevalence of employee monitoring with the purpose of gauging performance.

60% of companies with remote workers now use monitoring tools to track activity and productivity. Almost 80% of large enterprises now monitor employees’ web and phone use, and 94% use software to monitor users. 93% of large companies track access to sensitive data.

Pluses of employee monitoring: Increased productivity and security

Employee productivity increases by 7% when they know a monitoring system is in place. This results in higher profits and shows that these tools can help businesses improve efficiency.

Another advantage is increased security. According to 44% of employers, monitoring tools are the best way to guard against insider threats. Half of all companies monitor social media interactions and collect their staff’s biometric data, while 42% track server logs. This highlights the need for employers to protect their assets and sensitive data from insider threats.

Minuses of employee monitoring: Privacy concerns and distraction

At the same time, monitoring employees can infringe on their privacy rights. Employees may feel uncomfortable knowing that their activities are being watched, which can lead to decreased morale and trust.

Monitoring can stifle creativity and innovation. Employees may feel pressured to conform to expected behaviors rather than think creatively. The fear of being monitored can also discourage risk-taking and experimentation.

Setting up and maintaining monitoring systems can be costly and resource-intensive. They may also require specialized expertise to implement and manage effectively, adding to the company’s financial and logistical burden.

Best employee monitoring tools

If you find that the pluses outweigh the minuses, you’d be happy to know that some monitoring tools are affordable and easy to implement. The final section will examine some of them. 

Time tracking tools

Time and attendance tracking tools like time clocks are essential to monitor your employees automatically. These tools record attendance, working hours, away time, absences, and the time employees are productive or unproductive. Time clocks help businesses in numerous ways, like improved outcomes, increased productivity, better budgeting, and improved employee engagement. 

Activity monitoring tools

This software lets managers track their teams’ activity throughout the day, from logging in to logging out. It helps them identify overused resources, underused resources, and the best talent. They can see which employees are struggling with their tasks. Activity monitoring tools can help prevent data breaches, theft, and other organizational risks.

Performance management tools

Performance monitoring tools help employees enhance their performance by identifying aspects related to reduced productivity, such as decreased turnover, absenteeism, etc. They also allow managers or supervisors to increase the company’s profit by generating and analyzing real-time performance data. 

Final thoughts

Employee monitoring can help employers identify areas for improvement, get feedback, increase accountability, and collaborate more effectively. The best tools allow for a balance between the need for privacy and monitoring. Monitoring practices should be fair, transparent, and compliant with effective laws. 

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