The percentage of people working from home is on the rise in recent years. There is a huge impact made by the pandemic that affected such a trend. There are many benefits of the ability to work from home, like less stress, better time management, and flexibility. On the other side, there are potential issues as well, especially when it comes to productivity.
That is the main reason why so many companies are implementing new solutions where they can have a better insight into the work of their workers. Some of the most popular options are Hubstaff, Activ Trak, Work plus, and more. While that seems like a great way for employers to track their workers, the problem is with security and the potential threat of such practice.
According to the statistics, most people are concerned about the potential risks that monitoring might bring. The highest percentage thinks that it is unethical, and more than 50% of remote workers are feeling stressed when they are aware of the fact that someone is monitoring their activities. You can read more about the concerns of workers related to surveillance at ExpressVPN.
Moreover, the stats are implying that a lot of people often spend a lot of time while scrolling through different websites and apps that are not related to work. That is the main reason why companies are interested in monitoring so they can check on their worker’s productivity and be sure that they are on the right track. In this article, we are going to introduce you to some of the main features of monitoring software, its benefits, and potential downsides.
Different Types of Surveillance Software
The main difference is related to the complexity of these programs. The standard model will track productivity by checking the time when a worker is logged into the program. In most cases, these options will take a screenshot of the worker’s monitor so the company can know what they are doing at the moment.
The average time for screenshots is 10 minutes. On the other side, there are more complex versions for monitoring where the employer can get more data from the workers, like emails, files, along with full access to the device that is monitored.
How It Works?
It depends on the type of software some company is using. In most cases, you can expect that the company will require you to log in to the platform so they can check when you have started with your work. Also, there will be additional screenshots and other stats like emails. Some models are tracking the activity by checking on how many clicks you made during work, or the numbers of characters typed with the keyboard.
The advanced model is complete screening when they can check the activity of the workers at any moment, which includes the live-tracking of their screen. With these options, they can check all kinds of data, like the history of research in the browsers, opened apps, and more. This model is the main reason why some people are concerned since that is directly linked to decreased privacy.
The key features are related to the ability to get an insight into the activities by using a timesheet, task management, evaluation, location tracking, alerts, and invisible mode. The biggest issue is related to the invisible mode.
In that case, workers are not even aware that the employer is checking on their activities at the moment. We understand the background of such an option since companies find that as a very effective method to check the productivity of people.
However, the problem is that many workers don’t feel safe when they know that someone can check all files on their device. For instance, it is never recommended to accept any suspicious software where you can provide an insight into your activities when you are working as a freelancer on some short-term project.
Benefits of Surveillance
The main advantages are for companies that can get more accurate details of the activities of their workers. That is the only way to make remote working efficient. There are benefits for workers as well. For example, they can use a platform where they can share files and collaborate with their colleagues in the same way as they were doing in the office. Also, there is less chance for mistakes.
Potential Issues With Surveillance Software
The biggest issue is related to the security and privacy of people. As we already said, it is not always safe to allow this option. You can do so only when you are working for some well-known company that is now implementing new methods to allow people to work remotely. Even then, there are still potential problems because people simply don’t feel safe when they know that anyone in the management and the executive board could have an insight into their activities and files.
A lot of people prefer working from home because of the flexibility it offers. However, the requirement to log in to some software at the exact time each day makes it almost the same as working in the office. An even bigger concern is related to the fact that some of these programs allow them to gather more than just data about the work, like private files on the PC, search history, and more.
The Bottom Line
The key is to resolve the problems related to monitoring and the selection of software for the surveillance. Some of the biggest problems are related to the ethics behind the process, legality, and security of workers. However, the fact is that more companies will now be interested in using advanced surveillance options since that provides them with transparency and the ability to check the activities of people.
The key is to pay more attention to their privacy as well. Therefore, you should always read more about the features of some software before you accept to use it. If you don’t want to leave some things on your device available, the best option is to use another PC only for work.