Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Sunday, January 15th 2023. | Sample Templates

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity – Share all exchange options: Just because you work from home doesn’t mean your boss isn’t watching you

This is the scenario that millions of employees across America have likely experienced: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, your office closes a store and your boss sends you home with a company laptop and the expectation that you can work remotely. work like you did when you were in the office. But some owners do not have to hope. They have installed tracking software on these computers, so they can keep track of their employees at home just as well, if not better, than they do in the office. Meanwhile, you may not realize that your employer is literally looking over your shoulder.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Employee monitoring software comes in many forms. It could be as simple as Slack giving your boss access to your private messages, or as complex as special programs that keep track of how much time you spend on Slack (Facebook, YouTube, and of course your real job). Minutes have passed. Some programs allow an employee to independently report on the time spent on various tasks, while others can record it for him. Some take screenshots of employee monitors at random intervals, while others record every keystroke. Some employee monitoring features are so subtle that you may not be aware of them.

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Zoom’s video conferencing software, for example, used to allow hosts to enable what’s called “attention tracking” in their paid service. This feature allowed them to see if meeting attendees left the app for more than 30 seconds during the meeting, which was a good indication that they were watching something else. Instead, it couldn’t see what they saw and could only be activated when the host was in screen sharing mode. Zoom noted that the transcoding feature is really meant for educational purposes, where it’s important to know that people are actively watching a presentation.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Because attention tracking can be turned on without the knowledge of participants – and because many weren’t aware of the option’s existence until a number of reports recently raised the alarm – many Zoom users felt they were being watched. Zoom’s growing privacy concerns didn’t help. Therefore, the company has disabled this feature after a widespread outcry that shows how much people dislike such features and why employers should be careful when using them.

Employee tracking software has been around for years, but with so many people working from home and many workplaces worried they won’t be as productive in their living rooms as they are in the office, some employers are turning to to activity monitoring programs. the first time – like their employees, whether they like it or not.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Can Employee Monitoring Be Done Ethically?

Companies can choose which monitoring features they want to enable. Some employers use these programs to prevent or detect theft – a legitimate and understandable problem, especially in certain industries. But others see them as a way to make sure employees stay at work and don’t waste time on Facebook, apparently not trusting their employees to do the same. To employees, this may seem like an invasion of privacy that breeds resentment.

Jane (who demanded that neither she nor her employer be identified for fear of retaliation) works as a contractor for a translation agency based in Australia. Her employer keeps track of remote workers with Teamviewer, which shows everything from the employee’s laptop to their desktop still in the office. Jane’s manager is also in the office, so she can see in real time what her employees are doing by looking at their desktop monitors.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

“My manager knows everything I do,” Jen told Recode. “When I’m physically in the office, I can barely get up and stretch. I feel like I have to be in front of my computer all the time and work because if I don’t, either TeamViewer logs me out for inactivity or my manager accidentally sends a registration email that I should respond to immediately.

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Jane’s Office had such systems for remote workers before the pandemic, several activity-monitoring software makers say, but countless new workers working remotely will encounter them for the first time. ActiveTrack, Time Doctor, TerraMind, and Hubstaff told Recode that they saw significantly higher interest in their product from new and existing customers during the coronavirus work-from-home boom.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Time Doctor, whose co-founder Liam Martin told Recode that he likes to think of “Fitbit for work,” is seeing “significant growth” in the business, with more growth in one week than in the entire previous quarter. Teramind has reported a three-digit percentage increase in new leads since the start of the pandemic. Hubstaff reported that the number of unique visits in the last three weeks increased by 72 percent compared to the previous period, and this added hundreds of thousands of test clients and clients, as well as hundreds of licenses for existing clients. ActiveTrack recorded a threefold increase in sales requests and licenses from existing customers, from 50 to 800 in March, as companies increased their remote workforce from a few employees to everyone.

“In response to the huge increase in demand from businesses, we are hosting informational webinars, in-depth product guides, and publishing educational content around the clock,” ActiveTrack CEO Rita Selvaggi told Recode.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Everything You Need To Know About Employee Monitoring

The developers of these apps understand that employees may not be thrilled about having to use tracking software, so they urge employers to use them thoughtfully and transparently.

“Time tracking is always something people don’t like to do, but we’ve focused our feature set on making the individual employee more productive while still giving the employer insight into what’s going on internally.” “, Martin said. “Our software focuses on tracking active time, not something that distracts attention in the background, and all the data we collect is for employees to improve their productivity.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

Isaac Cohen, Teramind’s vice president of research and development, says it’s important for employers to consider the privacy of their employees, as well as what they expect from monitoring them.

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Cohen told Recode, “If you ignore employees’ right to privacy, you risk legal repercussions, not to mention cultural divides, loss of trust, and many other issues you can deal with.” “This can make employees feel like they are being watched or distrusted, two things that can ruin a thriving corporate culture but shouldn’t be.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

When the pandemic hit, “John’s” employers (John didn’t want to give his name or reveal his workplace for fear of retaliation) didn’t want to let their employees work from home. This was eventually done on one condition: they had to record their hours in a time attendance program.

After a week of recording every minute of his working day, John sees the positives and the negatives. As a software developer, his job often involves switching between many different tasks in a short amount of time. Keeping a log of his activities on such a large scale can be painful and time-consuming, allowing him to do his real work. John also does not believe that time logs provide the proper context for work-related activities required to complete a task.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

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John said, “You have to call this person and talk to them and get ideas, or you need to browse the Internet for a while to research the topic.” “On paper, it may seem like you are wasting your time. But it’s important that the job is done well.”

John also understands why management wants employees to take responsibility they can’t see directly. He likes that his job trusts him and his colleagues so much that it allows him to manually log their activities, rather than installing a program that does it automatically.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

“If it wasn’t a self-report, I think I would feel weird about it,” he said. “Especially since many of us use personal devices for our work. I’d say, “I’m not going to set up your babysitter camera.”

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Mac Quartarone, an industrial/organizational psychologist, argues that how employees react to monitoring programs often depends on the organizational trust their company has established with them.

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

“If you have a lot of trust, you probably expect the organization to just try to do the right thing,” Quartarone told Recode. “If you don’t have a lot of confidence, you’ll think they’re trying to fire you or they’re trying to find people to fire.”

In the case of this pandemic, where employees are essentially forced to work from home, implementing tracking software to ensure they are working is tantamount to punishing what may seem like something they had no control over in the first place. . Quartarone also warns that the long-term effects of using tracking software during this crisis could “damage your sense of organizational fairness and trust between your employees. And it will keep. Quartarone recommends that employers give

Can My Employer Monitor Employee Internet Activity

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