COVID-19 made us rethink work-from-home policies, the employee monitoring industry is booming.
Monitoring practice that is considered unethical, is monitoring employees without their knowledge or consent. To avoid this, always make sure your employees are aware of employee monitoring software. If possible, create a monitoring policy, including consent forms that will explain in detail what you will be monitoring, which data you will be collecting, how you will store it, and who can access it. Employers have a well-established legal right to track Web surfing, emailing and other activities by employees using company computers or during office hours.
There can be several reasons why companies are looking for employee monitoring.
1. Protect your company from theft of data or other harm.
2. It can help affirm compliance with regulations
3. Secure evidence in case of data theft
4. Help in time management
5. To automate business processes by collecting the data directly from end unit.
6. Prevent practice to work on multiple jobs/private consultancy during office hours.
At least two-thirds of companies monitor and half have fired employees for Web and email infractions, according to research by Nancy Flynn, executive director of the ePolicy Institute, a Columbus, Ohio, training and consulting firm.
This is not uncommon for employees to use their business laptops for personal matters while they’re on a break or once their shift is over. If you’re using the monitoring software during these hours, you could potentially record sensitive personal data that could legally implicate you. To avoid the issue, either forbid the usage of company-owned laptops for personal use or allow employees to turn off their trackers when the shift is over or while they’re on a break.
There are some fundamental steps that companies should take to monitor remote working ethically.
1. Employees and employers must first accept that remote work is here to stay.
2. Companies should engage the workforce to reach an agreement on why business activities actually require monitoring.
3. Communicate with employees on customer data safety.
4. Ensure that sufficient safeguards are introduced to prevent abuse.
Evaluate the trusted employee monitoring software before implementation on below parameters
1. Software should not be a keylogger
2. Data should be encrypted and transmitted to the server over secure encrypted channel
3. On server especially if the vendor is on the cloud. There should be a policy. who can view the data?
4. Two-factor authentication to access the data
5. Removal of data from the server after X days.