Employee Monitoring

What is employee monitoring?

Employee monitoring is a tactic many managers, human resources departments, and business owners use to track the performance and productivity of their employees. Data gathered with this method can be analyzed to find trends, patterns, and correlations to give insight into how to improve business processes, while at the same time, providing protection against malicious threats.

The American Management Association discovered many companies, 78% of them to be exact, have implemented some method to monitor employees’ activities. It can be as a simple as analyzing internet history or as complex as wearable health-tracking devices. In most cases though, companies focus on digital monitoring systems that track email use and internet activity.

The ability to track employee activities, work habits, behaviors, and time usage protects the company against liability. It also gives companies the opportunity to analyze which strategies perform best, when employees are most productive and how to best delegate tasks and projects. Firms who properly utilize monitoring programs develop strategies that increase employee productivity, efficiency, overall job satisfaction, and most importantly, experience growth in profits and revenue.

What would you like to know?

Types of Employee Monitoring | Advantages | Disadvantages | Who Embraces It?

Why Use It? | Is it Legal? | How to Pick What’s Best for You | How to Introduce it to Your Team

employee monitoring

Types of Employee Monitoring

Innovation in technology has allowed businesses a wide range of options to track workers’ activities. Most workplaces gather data with computer software. However, companies also monitor their telephone systems, install video and audio surveillance, and attach GPS location devices to company vehicles and equipment.

Internet, Email and Other Computer Activities

The majority of companies who utilize a team behavior analytics software prioritize the analyzing of employees’ internet usage above all other activities.

In addition to logging internet history and activity, these programs allow employers to monitor desktop application usage. A usual dataset looked at is how much time employees spend on the various computer applications and websites. Some of these programs have incredibly detailed reports, which include website visit history, how much time people dedicated to productive work vs. unproductive work, and even when the employee computer is idle. Capabilities may include capturing URLs, screenshots and some record keystrokes.

With it being an oft-used form of electronic communication in the office, it also makes sense to think about email. Email messages are considered official documents by law and will stand up as legitimate evidence in court. Companies who monitor employee email can minimize the risk of liability and detect insider threats of potential data leaks and breaches.

Software in this Category: ActivTrak, Pearl Software

Keylogging

Keylogging, or keystroke logging, is a process that records the keys a user is typing on the keyboard in order. These programs can also capture screenshots when triggered by predefined keywords logged. This process helps to narrow the search field when gathering data. For example, this method can be very instrumental in detecting bullying or harassment. Setting up screenshot triggers for the types of keywords expected in these situations could alert management to situations that otherwise may have gone unnoticed or unreported.

There are some drawbacks to keystroke logging, though. There’s the element of violating workplace privacy in the eyes of some. Since every keystroke is accounted for, it would be easy to access every detail a person entered into the computer, including personal information and correspondence.

It’s also notorious for being used with malicious intent. Since the programs are essentially recording every keystroke, they can collect and store sensitive information such as passwords, bank account information, private messages, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and usernames. In the wrong hands, this information could cause a variety of problems.

Software in this Category: NetBull, Refog

Telephone

You’ve probably called customer support at some time in your life. When you did, it’s likely you were informed of this next type of employee monitoring.  By being on that call, you were an active party in employee telephone monitoring! It’s a way for a company to take control of their quality assurance and ensure their employees are providing outstanding customer service to you.

Telephone Monitoring Software: InterGuard, Mobistealth, VersaDial

GPS Tracking

With GPS Tracking, a company car is monitored when in use. For example, it may be helpful for delivery, courier, and postal companies to track vehicles, ensuring their drivers travel the most efficient routes and avoid spending time running their errands

Other uses of GPS Tracking could be navigation, recovering stolen or missing property and equipment, and safety.

Software in this Category: myGeoTracking, TSheets

productivity increase

Advantages of Employee Monitoring

We now know that when appropriately implemented, an employee monitoring system:

  • Saves money on employee retention
  • Provides data transparency
  • Enables employers to analyze business processes
  • Protects against data loss
  • Creates a more engaged team

There are many other advantages to that are not as overtly evident.

Reduce Legal Liability

Employee monitoring in all its various forms—be it software such as ActivTrak, or wristbands that track the body’s movements—provide supervisors a clear view of what people are doing and when. In the case of legal liability for any reason, these reports and logs will protect employee and employer alike.

Effective Project Management

ActivTrak’s insights will help you build a more efficient team by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. Seeing where people struggle and where people shine gives you the power to better delegate tasks more efficiently, so that the entire team is producing their best work.

Matching the strengths and skills of your team members to the right task is incredibly vital for meeting deadlines and producing the best work, but recognizing the weaknesses in team members is equally important. Employee monitoring systems that focus on behavior metrics help you identify where team members need extra training or coaching. Investing in your employees’ futures and career development is part of the formula for creating an engaged team.

Prevent the Loss of Revenue from Disengaged Employees

Gallup found that 67% of workers worldwide are not engaged in the workplace due to many reasons. Their report finds that people who are unable to use their strengths are less productive, less creative, don’t develop positive relationships with coworkers, and in general, report feeling “miserable” with their company. These are the ingredients to a recipe for active disengagement at work. Recruiter.com calls active disengagement the “silent killer.” As Shaley McKeever, Strategic Growth Manager at Red Branch reasons, not only is an actively disengaged worker unhappy and not performing their job properly but they “act out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”

Disengaged workers do not care about the company’s goals or success and merely show up to get a paycheck. With 67% of the worldwide workforce disconnected, employers are losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Those are alarming statistics. Behavior analytics will show you who on the team is disengaged or headed that way. ActivTrak gives you the control to prevent and correct this when it happens.

Accountability

It’s a fact—when people are aware of a monitored workplace, they work better. Everyone is held accountable for their day’s output and how they spend their time. Even administrators, managers, and supervisors can’t manipulate the metrics, screenshots, or other real-time monitoring features of ActivTrak.

One of your company’s most valuable assets is the people who work for you. Successful businesses use behavioral analytics and employee monitoring to protect and get the most out that considerable investment, ensuring sure they are creating and managing an engaged team who are all working collaboratively toward the success and growth of the business.

disadvantages

Disadvantages of Employee Monitoring

When implemented correctly, there are very few disadvantages to employee monitoring. Your purpose for monitoring your employees should be to create a company culture where everyone performs their best and works cohesively as a team towards a shared goal—not to spy on them. ActivTrak’s employee behavior analysis software is the perfect solution to helping you and your team get the most out of work.

The number one reason why people oppose employee monitoring is the fear of having their privacy invaded, thinking that you don’t trust them. However, this is far from the truth. Quite frankly, everyone you employ knows that when on the clock, their time is yours. It is not unreasonable to expect your team members to avoid inappropriate and misuse of the internet, applications, and company equipment.

If you do have an extremely resistant team member who is vehemently against monitoring, it’s possible they spend a lot of time being unproductive. Most employees who work efficiently and productively have no reason to resist.

Privacy

ActivTrak offers Data Leak Prevention (DLP) technology for its users. DLP prevents critical, sensitive, and personal information from being displayed on Screenshots and in other ActivTrak reports. DLP automatically uses Image Redaction to block over 40 predetermined identifiers from text and images.  Credit card, social security and passport numbers, U.S and international driver’s license numbers, phones numbers and more are all concealed from any users or administrators.

Trust

Another prominent issue people have with monitoring is the trust factor. Many monitored employees feel like their bosses don’t trust them. To be satisfied with their job, people need to feel autonomous. Being clear about why you are choosing to monitor is essential.

To assure your employees that you trust them and respect their privacy, let them know that ActivTrak does not and will never capture or save their keystrokes. Also called keylogging, this type of program records which keys on the keyboard a user is pressing. Passwords, instant messages, bank account info, credit card numbers, PIN numbers and more are available for an administrator to see when an employee monitoring software uses keylogging.

For your SaaS employee monitoring system and your team to work harmoniously, managers must not misuse the system to punish, spy or micromanage. The best practice is to be transparent. Explain precisely the types of data gathered and when. Don’t forget to have a robust written internet use policy in place.

Download Internet Usage Policy Template

people

Who Embraces Employee Monitoring?

Employee monitoring isn’t about supervision. It’s about success.

Employee monitoring in all its different forms is, at the time of the writing, a $200 million industry and thriving. In the next few years, we will see more companies investing in software and other solutions that track workers’ activities. Employee monitoring has come a long way in the last few years. Companies are using the latest technologies to do way more than just block social media and shopping websites.

Highly successful companies that are data-driven use employee monitoring systems to analyze employee behavior and to not only protect the privacy of employees and clients but to protect the company from data loss as well.

From a New York audio-visual design firm to an e-health startup with a workforce of 55 on three continents, companies of all shapes and sizes are successfully implementing employee monitoring metrics.

why use employee monitoring

Why Embrace Employee Monitoring?

So much of your company’s success is determined by the people you employ.

The higher the engagement rate of your employees is, the more successful your company is. People who are fully engaged are motivated to do their best work. Josh Bersin, founder, and principal at Bersin by Deloitte and Forbes contributor writes, “Let’s face it. If you’re a CEO or business leader, the only thing you  really have is your employees’ commitment and engagement. This is not “one of the things” to worry about, this is “the thing” to worry about.”

Google, Wells Fargo, and Best Buy spend vast amounts of time and money collecting data about how their employees work because they know that employee satisfaction directly correlates with higher sales and revenue. For example, Best Buy found that just the slightest increase in employee engagement—a 10th of a point— increased revenue by $100,000 annually.

Every two to four years, Gallup uses a scientific method to analyze how employee engagement affects the performance of businesses. Its findings are enlightening.

According to a Gallup Business Journal report:

Gallup’s research also shows that companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS), and they seem to have recovered from the recession at a faster rate. In a recent study, Gallup examined 49 publicly traded companies with EPS data available from 2008-2012 and Q12 data available from 2010 and/or 2011 in its database. This study found that businesses with a critical mass of engaged employees outperformed their competition.

Gallup’s chief scientist of employee engagement and wellbeing, Jim Harter Ph.D., says, “Engaged employees are more attentive and vigilant. They look out for the needs of their coworkers and the overall enterprise because they personally ‘own’ the result of their work and that of the organization.”

Having concrete evidence on what your employees’ strengths are, when they are at their peak when they perform their best, and what applications they have mastered, allows you to direct a stronger team better. A team that is fully engaged in their work and wholly invested in their company works more efficiently, resulting in a higher quality product, happier customers, and more sales for you. An employee monitoring system like ActivTrak will help get you there.

Why Employee Monitoring Is Important:
  • Development and Growth
  • Security and Safety
  • Compliance and Liability
  • Fairness and Accuracy
Development and Growth

Bring out the best in your team!

The Center for Disease Control, along with the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that $1,685 per employee is lost a year due to unproductivity. You can severely reduce this loss by implementing an employee monitoring program. Successful, data-driven companies use the metrics that tracking software gives them to increase productivity, revenue, sales, and employee retention, happiness, and efficiency.

A well-known MIT Sloan School of Management study found that when restaurants started monitoring employees, revenue increased by 7%. The co-director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy in the MIT Sloan School of Management, Andrew McAfee says, “As far as we can tell, performance improved simply because people started doing their jobs better.” ActivTrak’s real-time reporting allows you to recognize patterns in your team’s time management and productivity levels.

The reports provided allow you to make better-informed business decisions like how to delegate tasks more efficiently and set realistic and meetable deadlines so that your team can perform at their very best. Adopting the science of work proves that employee monitoring has measurable positive results that lead to growth.

Security and Safety

Data breaches and cybersecurity continue to become an increasing concern for businesses. Hackers are very inventive. They create new methods of accessing the massive amounts of data stored each day.

2016 marked the highest number of data breaches in history with a record-breaking 4.2 billion records stolen from businesses.  In fact, employees even admit it—85 percent self-report taking company documents and information with them when they leave a company. One of the worst data breaches in history happened in 2017. Nearly half of America had their names, social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, and driver’s license numbers stolen from the consumer-credit reporting agency Equifax.

Experts advise taking a pro-active, multi-layered approach to protecting your business from costly security breaches.

  • Take regular assessments of the types of information you store. It might not be necessary to keep all of it.
  • Encrypt information and back it up regularly.
  • Deploy a monitoring program with sophisticated technology such as USB Detection and Data Loss Prevention. ActivTrak offers not only both those features but also the ability to block anyone from visiting notoriously malicious websites.

Your security and safety is our priority!

Compliance and Liability

Highly-regulated industries such as finance and healthcare need to know for sure the data they manage is secure and protected.

Federal laws require some industries to protect their clients’ sensitive information. Software as a Solution (SaaS) programs like ActivTrak which incorporate ways to monitor online and application activity give these regulated industries the peace of mind to know that their information is safe and secure from getting into the wrong hands.

ActivTrak offers:

  • Encryption
  • Nightly database backups
  • Secure, offsite storage via Amazon web services
  • HIPAA-Compliance

In 2006, 24% of employers had company emails subpoenaed by courts. Nancy Flynn, Executive Director of The ePolicy Institute, says, “To help control the risk of litigation, security breaches, and other electronic disasters, employers should take advantage of monitoring and blocking technology to battle people problems-including the accidental and intentional misuse of computer systems and other electronic resources.” By law, employers must provide a safe working environment for its employees. Employee monitoring technology minimizes risks and offers indisputable truth in the case of liabilities, protecting not only employees but the company overall.

Fairness and Accuracy

Instead of relying on biased self-reporting, employee monitoring software that focuses on behavior analytics provides managers an impartial view of how their teams work most efficiently.

With internet-tracking software and other forms of tracking, both the company and the employee are held accountable for what happens when on the clock. ActivTrak’s reliable and transparent reports show you in real-time who is doing what and for how long. Both you and your team gain valuable insights into how everyone is spending their time, empowering both employer and employee to create strategic opportunities for growth.

ActivTrak’s easy-to-use Dashboard allows you to set automatic Alarms to redirect behavior, praise a job well done, and even shut down browsers and applications when security breaches and harmful websites are detected. This corporate culture of transparency inherently makes workers more productive and engaged. Numerous studies find proof that employee engagement works. Kevin Kruse, New York Times best-selling author and LEADx.org CEO, discusses the bottom line:

An employee’s discretionary effort results in the Engagement-Profit chain. Because they care more, they are more productive, give better service, and even stay in their jobs longer. All of that leads to happier customers who buy more and refer more often, which drives sales and profits higher, finally resulting in an increase in stock price.

Tip: Employee monitoring gives companies the opportunity to analyze what works best when employees are most productive, and how to best delegate tasks and projects.

is employee monitoring legal

Is Employee Monitoring Legal?

Legal Considerations
  • What are the rules that govern monitoring in the workplace?
  • When is it okay to monitor? How does this differ between countries?
  • What do you have to do before you monitor?
Is employee monitoring legal?

Yes! In fact, U.S. federal law enforcement and CEOs of large international corporations encourage it.

In the U.S if you or your company owns the computers, you’re legally allowed to monitor any and all activity on the device.

For best results and to maintain trust, we recommend informing your employees of the upcoming changes in order to avoid legal issues. They’ll be aware of the types of data gathered, when and for what reasons. This allows your team to understand what’s expected, giving them the best chance at success. You’re looking to alleviate the feeling of Big Brother trying to find people to kick people out the door. The best method of doing this is a well-written internet usage policy.

Download Internet Usage Policy Template

Whatever your reasons are behind needing an employee monitoring system, most governments around the world recognize in some form that employee monitoring is necessary and plays an essential role in protecting trade secrets, confidential and personal information, and helps during legal liability situations.

From the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, most countries around the world adopted employee monitoring laws and regulations. The difference in monitoring laws around the world and between different American states depend on the varying degrees of how assumptions of privacy in the workplace are defined.

In the United States, you cannot assume personal privacy while at work. Though laws vary from state to state to what extent a company can monitor an employee, it is federally legal for a company to collect data from its employees’ in some way—especially when using the company’s equipment. Also, email is classified under the law in the U.S. as company property when sent through the company’s system. Connecticut and Delaware must provide notice to employees before monitoring them.

Regulatory bodies and laws like The Federal Trade Commission and USA Patriot Act control what employers are allowed and not allowed to do when it comes to watching their employees. In America, certain types of monitoring are more regulated than others, like video surveillance and the recording of phone calls.

For example, a business cannot record personal phone calls. The Electronics Communications Privacy Act of 1986 made it illegal for an employer to monitor an employee’s personal phone calls unless that employee knows and consents. Other than this exception, American companies do not have to disclose the intent or act of monitoring.

In the US, there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy,” but there are plenty of countries around the world that do. The European Union nations believe in the right to privacy at work. Employers have much to consider when they chose to monitor employees.

READ: 6 Tips for employee monitoring in a GDPR World

In South Korea and New Zealand, the employee must give consent to being monitored. Though the law favors the employer in China, Australia, and the U.K., those countries prohibit the monitoring of private email.

If your employees seem hesitant about the choice of being monitored, it is best to go with a platform like ActivTrak, where managers and supervisors can customize when the system is active. ActivTrak makes it able for you to turn off the tracking Agent when it is not necessary to keep track of users’ activities.

employee monitoring checklist

How to Pick The Best Employee Monitoring Software

With so many different types of employee monitoring software to choose from, it can be overwhelming deciding which one to pick. Fortunately, most of them offer a free trial so that you can get a feel for the usability and the software’s features.

ActivTrak is and always will be free. Sign up here.

Where to Start:
Develop A Checklist

Before spending a lot of time shopping around, you can start eliminating choices right off the bat by developing a checklist of features your company requires.

These requirements may include:

  • Website blocking
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Screenshot capture
  • USB-use alerts
  • Data Leak Prevention
  • Keystroke logging
  • Time spent on activities

List them in order from most essential to least essential. Once you have narrowed down which features are most important to you, you can then start comparing which service offers those features and which one will meet your needs the best.

Every company is different in their expectations of SaaS—some spend months researching and negotiating contracts, while others needed something yesterday! Whichever way your company prefers to do things, here is a general template that works well for both small business and enterprise to follow when picking out the right employee monitoring and behavior analytics system.

Is it Customizable?

Sure, it may have all the features on your checklist, but are you able to change, modify, delete or add to them? At ActivTrak, we have built-in eight different Alarms for every account. However, you do not have to use those Alarms. You are free to change and delete them.

Read more about Alarms here.

For example, when a user goes to Facebook, an Alarm is triggered, and the ActivTrak Agent will start collecting screenshots. But, if your company has a lenient social media use policy, or you are a company that relies heavily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap, etc. for your marketing, then you might not want to be as aggressive at monitoring these sites. It is easy to customize these Alarms to suit your business and industry.

If none of the SaaS providers meet all your needs, then you need to find out if the software can individualize your account to your specific situation. Many of the most popular SaaS have custom plans available—including ActivTrak.

Is it Scalable?

Scalability is the capability of the software to grow with your business. It needs to be able to handle high volumes, surges in activities, and increasing number of seats or users, process quickly and store massive amounts of data reliably. Scalability is one of the most crucial features to evaluate when looking for the right SaaS for your business. You do not want your employee monitoring software to fail when accounting’s activity ramps up at quarter’s end or if you’re an eCommerce company needing to measure productivity on Cyber Monday.

You can rest-assured that ActivTrak’s employee monitoring software easily handles three users’ data as effortlessly as it does three thousand. We store all data in Amazon Web Services, taking advantage of an unlimited amount of storage.

Browse our most popular plans here.

Security

How is my information protected?

You need to protect your company’s intellectual property, as well as your employees’ privacy. Since third parties host all SaaS tools, you need to make sure that all information and data recorded and stored is secure, private, and protected.

ActivTrak follows the industry’s standard best practices for security. We offer:

  • Password-protected accounts
  • HTTPS encryption
  • Encryption during data transit
  • A remote, top-notch secure storage database with Amazon Web Services
  • Database backup

We have limited access to your information, and we do not have access to the data collected on your account. Your privacy, security, and safety are our top priority.

Implementation

Previous to cloud-based software tools, installing new computer programs could be a very lengthy and drawn-out process. Depending on your timeline, then you may have the option to choose a software that is hosted onsite and takes a few days to implement fully.

However, the benefit of SaaS is that you won’t need to call your IT department to get started. You can download the ActivTrak Agent yourself.  It can be downloaded and installed on remote workstations and devices. Implementation takes minutes per computer, and data collection starts nearly instantaneously.

Learning Curve

The learning curve is another aspect of implementing new software that takes up precious time and costly training. ActivTrak’s Dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. There is no need for us to send out a training team. Even your most tech-challenged employee can use ActivTrak.

Support and Customer Service

If you do have issues with your new software and need guidance in its use, you will want a support center that is convenient to reach.

Questions you need to ask before moving forward with a particular service:

  • What are your office hours?
  • How many different ways can we get a hold of you?
  • How long will it take to get an email or phone call returned?
  • What happens if I have an urgent issue after hours?
Glitches and Bugs

Even though we all wish our computers and office tools were perfect, they aren’t. Humans develop software systems and are subject to the occasional bug or glitch. You can find out how each one of the employee monitoring systems you are weighing rank in this area by reading reviews of current and previous customers.

ActivTrak is up 99% of the time. Since we are so customer-oriented, we will make sure your program is working correctly as soon as we possibly can if there is an issue. We have a dedicated team that tests the Agent daily to make sure it is running smoothly.

Updates

Depending on what computer platform you work on, you understand how frustrating it is to wait for your system to update—which may feel like it is doing 24/7. Software updates take up precious time—time in which your team is unproductive. Don’t be afraid to ask the employee monitoring software companies you are interested in how often updates are and how long updates last.

At ActivTrak we hold sprint sessions every two weeks. Updates occur regularly and include fixes and enhancements to our service that help you be more productive and efficient. Updating does not affect or interrupt your account or the gathering of Screenshots and other data. In fact, you won’t even notice we’re doing it!

Some other software services might be interrupted when updating. In that case, ask how long that will take and if there will be a fair warning before beginning.

Cost

Most SaaS businesses structure their prices on seats or per-user, meaning the bill you a set amount of money per each person that uses the service. Determine your budget and how many people you need to monitor and then ask to see the service’s pricing sheet.

Trust

It is indisputable how useful word of mouth recommendations from peers is in any industry. A reputable and trustworthy company should be able to provide you with customer stories and honest reviews of their service. If they can’t show how they’ve helped people in the past, it’s time to move on. A transparent company will be open about its history, accreditation, and leadership.

Integration

A lot of employee monitoring software does not play well with some anti-virus software. To prevent headaches and support ticket in your IT department, you will need to make sure your new employee monitoring software works in harmony with all your other programs and applications.

ActivTrak has made integration with your other cloud-based programs a snap. Accessing the information you need is now quicker than ever with WebHooks. Our favorite integration at ActivTrak is a user’s activity in Salesforce popping up instantly in Slack. This way, our Sales Director knows which accounts the sales and customer support teams are working.

If you’re assigned the task of finding the right program for your company, you are probably feeling exhausted by the challenge. We hope these items of consideration will make it easier for you to choose wisely.

How to Introduce an Employee Monitoring System

You want to be as transparent as possible when introducing your staff to an employee monitoring system. For your team to perform their very best, they need to know you trust them. Building and maintaining trust is key to having a thoroughly engaged and motivated team. If they perceive that what you are doing is watching them, they can quickly resort to anger, dissatisfaction, and disengagement, which will directly and negatively affect the quality of your product and customer satisfaction.

One of the primary goals of ActivTrak’s employee monitoring tool is to help grow your company. The last thing any of us want is a team that no longer takes pride in their work and who do not share the same goals. That is why it is so important to know precisely why you are introducing this new software and to be proactive in its implementation—meaning, start monitoring before something happens that triggers suspicions.

We designed ActivTrak user experience to be as easy as possible, without lengthy training or the need for on-site tech support. We want your decision to go just as smoothly as implementation, so we have created a list of simple steps you need to do before jumping in.

1. Clarify Your Focus

You need a clear purpose and legitimate reasons why every workstation will have employee monitoring software installed.

For employees to be supportive of an employee monitoring program, you must make sure you are monitoring for the right reasons. Don’t track just to track. Key stakeholders, management, and human resources need to have a clear purpose behind the decision to monitor. Express these motives to your workforce and keep the reasons strictly business-related.

Employees are much more willing to get behind you if they know the monitoring system serves businesses purposes only—especially if the software you use will benefit them in their professional development and performance reporting.

2. Honesty is the Best Policy

Be up front with your team about what is being monitored and when. For example, you can set your ActivTrak account to not take Screenshots during typical lunch hours or after 5. This will give peace of mind to employees who transport company laptops and other devices to their homes.

Let them know which websites you will block and why. Let’s say you’d prefer employees to avoid streaming music websites since some can eat up a lot of the company’s bandwidth. Tell them you don’t mind them listening to music, but you also don’t want to slow down processes and systems.

3. Be Reasonable and Be Fair

Sixty percent of employees use their office computer and devices for personal use. Be thoughtful when choosing which websites to block and block in moderation. Social Media sites can be used for employee advocacy and as a knowledge and networking base. YouTube has plenty of useful tutorials that could enrich and develop skills for your team.

After all, is spending 20 minutes of watching funny cat videos harmful? No! In fact, it might be just what your team needs to refresh and recharge. Block and filter websites justly, but don’t overdo it. Never use your employee monitoring tool to punish employees. Set boundaries, but allow flexibility for some personal use. Striking the right work/life balance is essential to your team’s happiness.

4. Don’t Be Intrusive

Keep your data gathering procedures focused. Use them only for business-related purposes. Reassure your employees that their privacy is crucial to you and you will never see nor store their personal information like passwords, driver’s license, passports, social security numbers, etc.

ActivTrak is not workplace surveillance. You aren’t watching your employees; you are giving them the option to work independently, autonomously, and to be held accountable for their productivity and performance.

Let workers know that everyone who has administrator access will not share the data with anyone who doesn’t already have access to it.

5. Develop and Disseminate an Internet-Use Policy

An acceptable computer and internet-usage policy will differ from company to company. There are a few things that all policies contain, and that is clear, well-written dos and don’ts of what you can and cannot do on your work computer.

Download Internet Usage Policy Template

An internet use policy can be as loose or as strict as necessary to meet your company’s needs. While some companies won’t allow music, film or television downloads, others might just block only gaming sites. The basics are the same across industries and for businesses of all sizes.

In Short:

Explain to your team why the company is introducing these new policies. Tell them that it is common practice to monitor employees in some way—80% of large companies do it. Emphasize how ActivTrak’s behavior analytics will help in their development and improve the performance of the organization as a whole. It isn’t employee surveillance, and you aren’t spying on them. As employees become accustomed to having their computer activity consistently analyzed, they will naturally become more efficient and productive workers.

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