Insights

A decision point for workplace surveillance

While the practices of employee surveillance and activity analysis are beneficial for management, they can have some adverse effects on the employees.

Network Intelligence Platform contributors

The rise in the practices of globalization has enabled organizations and businesses to tap into markets and attract customers beyond the limits of geographical borders and boundaries. It has also meant that companies can expand their operations and hire employees from different parts of the world. The modern-day workplace is increasingly characterized by employees belonging to diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Therefore, it has become imperative for leadership of the organizations to explore different avenues and practices to maintain employee productivity and performance to ensure that the company will achieve its strategic goals and business objectives effectively and efficiently.


Rise of Employee Surveillance Technology

The rapid progress and advancement in the domain of science and technology has provided a significant number of advantages for almost every aspect of society. Organizations and businesses have benefitted from utilizing the technological advancements for enhancing and enriching their business operations and practices. A recent study found that, in a bid to ensure employee performance and productivity, that 94% of organizations deploy some method of monitoring employees’ use of email, internet, or phone. This figure represents a sharp rise from 1997 when only 35% of companies monitored employees.

It is evident that companies and businesses are increasingly looking at different avenues and solutions to maintain and enhance the performance of their employees and workers. Some of the latest technologies and solutions that are being used for employee surveillance include Humanyze, Teramind, and WorkSmart.

Examples

Case 1: Humanyze

Humanyze is a leading employee analytics monitoring application that helps organizations understand how their teams interact in order to increase performance. It supplies biometric badges and accompanying software to companies wanting to track their staff. Humanyze badges look like a normal employee ID badge but are equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near field communication (NFC) sensors, Bluetooth for proximity sensing, infrared to detect face-to-face interaction, an accelerometer, and two microphones.

https://www.techworld.com/startups/us-startup-humanyze-is-bringing-its-employee-tracking-badges-uk-3653590/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3006631/startup-humanyzes-people-analytics-wants-to-transform-your-workplace.html

Case 2: Teramind

Teramind is a leading, global provider of employee monitoring, user behavior analytics, insider threat detection, forensics, and software solutions for data loss prevention. It includes features for employee activity monitoring like controlling webpages and applications, instant messages, emails, file transfers, keystroke logins, printed document tracking, and screenshot capability.

https://yellowcube.eu/en/teramind/

Case 3: WorkSmart

WorkSmart is a workplace productivity monitoring and analysis tool that provides management with useful insights. It is used company-wide to measure the productivity, focus, and intensity of each skilled professional. Managers can use these insights to craft a corrective plan and provide coaching during daily Check-in Chats.

https://medium.com/@crossoverforwork/a-game-changer-fitbit-for-remote-workers-improves-team-performance-35a3e5af891d

https://medium.com/@crossoverforwork/what-is-deep-work-and-how-can-it-push-capabilities-to-the-limit-998c14d65dc7


Implications

While the practices of employee surveillance and activity analysis are beneficial for management, they can have some adverse effects on the employees. Some of these adverse implications of workplace monitoring include influencing employee motivation and satisfaction levels and damaging the trust that an employee might have with the managerial leadership of the organization. Employees may view these practices as an attempt to control and limit their freedom and workplace independence. It can also cause a downfall in performance and productivity as they may not be able to effectively perform their job responsibilities.

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