Remote work has gained popularity among professionals worldwide, offering the flexibility to work from anywhere while avoiding on-site surveillance by employers. However, a new trend has emerged where the companies are closely monitoring remote employees and terminating those found to be slacking off.
As per the new report by Business Insider, many global companies are now using software to surveil their remote workforce during office hours.
For example, an Australian consultant was recently fired after her employer employed keystroke monitoring software, which revealed low keyboard activity on her laptop between October and December. Her contract was terminated on the grounds that her role required a minimum of 500 keystrokes per hour, a threshold she consistently fell short of.
Image Source : FREEPIKNew monitoring software for remote workers might be a real pain
Employers’ primary concern is not remote work itself; they acknowledge its benefits when employees maintain productivity. It saves resources and keeps the workforce effective thanks to the flexibility it offers. However, some employees are taking advantage of the situation and shirking their responsibilities, prompting companies to turn to monitoring software that tracks work, and keystrokes, and even watches employees via webcams.
A Twitter user, Michael Patron, shared in a tweet that he had terminated two remote employees for using mouse-moving technology to simulate work. He revealed that he used Time Doctor, a Software as a Service (SaaS) employee monitoring tool, to detect this behaviour. Patron stated that they only initiated tracking when they noticed an employee never responding to Slack messages and missing deadlines. He observed long periods of inactivity with constant tab-switching, all automated. However, he clarified that they only used Time Doctor as a safety measure, resorting to it only when issues were suspected.
Time Doctor provides real-time dashboards and progress reports, enabling businesses to evaluate employee productivity. It tracks time in and out, breaks, web, and app usage, offering peace of mind with productivity analytics, according to Carlo Borja, Time Doctor’s content marketing manager.
Employee monitoring is becoming increasingly prevalent, with companies monitoring computer activity, mouse clicks, and even using webcams to ensure employees are present at their desks. Despite the shift to hybrid work, demand for employee monitoring software remains robust, with over 298,000 employees worldwide currently being tracked by Time Doctor, with significant user bases in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
While some argue that employee monitoring is invasive and stressful for workers, others contend that it serves as a valuable tool for managers to identify and address productivity issues.