LOS ANGELES (KNX) — No evidence exists showing productivity has dropped from people working at home but more and more companies are installing tracking software to keep an eye on what employees are up to. And sometimes, workers don't even know that it’s been done.
Why do companies feel the need to do this? John Swift is a regional director for Robert Half - and sells employee tracing software. He said the “why” isn’t such a complicated answer.
“I think there’s still very much this sort of philosophy from managers thinking ‘my employees might not be working when they say they are,’” Swift said. “Because you have no way of knowing what they’re doing when they’re home.”
But Swifts points out that in surveys his company has conducted, 72% of employees have said they need a full 8 hours to do their job.
“[That] basically tells me that people are doing their job and they’re doing more than 8 hours worth of work,” he said.
But if an employer chooses to monitor employees working from home — do they have to disclose that they’re doing it?
In an interview with KNX In Depth, Elizabeth Harz said not all of the businesses who contract her company disclose to employees that the software is being used. But she said it’s not at all about being the “big brother” of employees.
“Our software is really focused on a very graphical, quick, easy way for both employees - those who are aware of the tracking - and employers to understand what’s going on,” Harz, the CEO of Awareness Technologies said.
Her company is one that actually sells employee-tracking software to businesses, and she said it’s turning out to be beneficial for employees.
“Really none of our clients are worried about somebody buying a holiday gift on amazon. They just want a quick check in,” she said.
“Tools like this can actually help managers say ‘look you’re working 12 hours a day, this is really too much.’”
In Harz’s opinion, the work from monitoring is set to transition, and over the next few years will become a transparent tool for both employees and employers to utilize.
In the meantime, if you're concerned about monitoring at your workplace - it may be time to check in about it with your employer.