A new study has revealed that a large chunk of companies that support remote working consistently monitor their remote workers. The study showed that a whopping 96% of remote working companies use monitoring software to keep up with the activities of their remote workers. It is reported that some even go as far as installing employee monitoring software that can capture and video employees while they are working.
A survey conducted by ResumeBuilder.com showed that as many as 37.4% of workers require their remote workers to be on camera as part of the work process. The study was conducted in the United Kingdom with not less than 1,000 people as the respondents. These companies assign other employees the job of monitoring the activities of others with these videos. According to 35% of the respondents, remote employees can be watched on camera for as long as between 2 to 4 hours each day.
But there are other methods that these remote companies employ to keep up with their employees' activities in real-time. About 62.2% of the respondents said some companies monitor web browsing and app use. 47.8% said companies monitor them by blocking content and apps. Another 44.7% said companies monitor their activities by tracking their attention via biometrics. 43.2 % said their Remote companies capture random screenshots. And lastly, 37. 4% of the respondents say their remote companies use keystrokes to monitor their activities while working for them.
The high use of employee monitoring software resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey showed only 10% of the respondents used this monitoring software before Covid-19. A whopping 37% started during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. And another 20% started using these tools just last year.
Are These Monitoring Methods Efficient?
The survey also mentioned their thoughts on the effectiveness and efficiency of the monitoring methods used by these companies. No matter the level of effectiveness, the use of monitoring tools on employees has attracted criticism among several companies. Usually, the intent is to know if remote employees engage in moonlighting or if they leverage irregular methods to get work done.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia was recently criticized for monitoring the activities of their employees through spyware. According to many, it violates the employee's privacy.
However, employers think these monitoring tools have helped them increase company productivity. 97% of those responding to the study said using monitoring tools has helped them increase employee productivity. Only about 3% of them said they don't really believe in the efficiency of these monitoring tools.
Monitoring Employees is Very Expensive
Surprisingly, monitoring the activities of remote workers cost employers a lot of money. It is even more expensive to keep employees. According to the ResumeBuilder.com report, about 73% of the respondents said they fired their staff because of the issue resulting from monitoring their employees. However, some of these employees weren't sacked; they just quit their job. About 69% of the respondents said their staff quit their job when they discovered they were being monitored.
While speaking about the situation, Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at ResumeBuilder, said the hours employees waste at home are almost the same as in physical offices. "But I would point out that two hours may be easily wasted when working in-house as well. However, in-house employees are not being monitored in the same way. It is not surprising that many employees do not want to feel like big brother is watching them daily when they are good employees and working hard for their organization," Haller said.