In times of economic uncertainty like the one we’re living in right now, businesses need to be as efficient as they can. They need to be operating at maximum capacity if they’re to stay afloat and keep their employees on a payroll.
Businesses have always strived for more productivity, and the only difference now is that they have the actual statistical and monitoring tools to do so properly. Since employees are at the core of each company, it’s natural they would be the key to gaining more productivity and why they would be the likely focus of monitoring software.
Now that employee monitoring software is all but an uncommon workplace occurrence, there is enough data to show whether such tools affect productivity or not.
Let’s explore the results of years of employee monitoring software in various companies and see how it affected their productivity.
Quick Introduction: What Is Employee Monitoring Software?
Employee monitoring software is a computer program that runs during work hours and gathers data about the employee’s time use, activity, and application use.
Tools like CurrentWare monitoring software allow you to bring remote teams closer and get detailed reports on what everyone is doing when they should be working. You will see what websites and apps your employees are using and how much time they spent using them. That means you’ll get to see if they’re spending time on work-related tasks or browsing Amazon or scrolling through their Facebook feed.
However, employee monitoring software is more than just a tool for preventing employees from breaking company policies. It also allows managers and team leaders to track projects, help optimize the work process, and identify inefficiencies. If there’s an employee who’s struggling with a project and taking more time than usual to complete their tasks, managers can jump in and help them or reassign them to a different task.
A common misconception about monitoring software is that it’s just about exerting control over your employees and intruding on their privacy. But in reality, such software allows for better recognition for hard-working employees while casting a light on those who don’t want to put any effort in and still get paid at the end of the month.
How Does Employee Monitoring Software Affect Productivity?
Does tracking employee activity improve productivity? After all the years of using monitoring software, companies have accumulated an extensive body of data that suggests that yes, employee monitoring does improve productivity. Here’s how.
Punching a card to clock in has a couple of downsides, one of them being buddy-punching. When an employee of yours is running late, they can just get one of their coworkers to punch them in.
You’re paying for absent workers who are more often than not simply abusing the system rather than having good reasons for being late.
With employee monitoring software, buddy-punching is history. Sure, the employees can have someone else start the software for them client-side, but if they don’t start working immediately, you’ll be able to see it. Remember, employee monitoring software can capture the screen in real-time, as well as track keyboard and mouse activity.
Prioritizing Important Tasks
Using employee monitoring software will reveal who’s working on the highest priority tasks and who’s simply procrastinating.
Since managers have access to such data, they can reassign the members of their team before they spend too much time on frivolous tasks. Having your team focused on tasks that are crucial to the project can increase the productivity ratings significantly.
Not only that, but you’ll also be able to catch errors faster than usual. Mistakes happen, but if they’re not caught quickly enough, they can become quite costly.
Tracking Time Spent on a Project
Doing high-priority tasks first is not the only productivity metric you can track using employee monitoring software. There’s no use in having a worker focus on a very important task if their progress is simply too slow.
The software will show you exactly how much time an employee has spent on any given task, and you’ll be able to compare their progress with company productivity indicators.
If an employee’s progress on a task is too slow, you can reach out to them and see what they’re struggling with. Sometimes, they just need a bit of guidance, especially when working on an important task that puts too much pressure on employees.
Non-Work Related Apps & Websites
The biggest productivity killers are various distractions at the workplace or at home. Sometimes, things that are out of employee’s control happen, and they have to respond. At home, personal matters can get in the way. At work, coworkers and managers alike can interfere with the work causing unnecessary distractions.
But there’s no greater productivity sink than apps and websites that employees themselves use. Of those, social media such as Facebook and Instagram are the worst offenders. About 77% of all employees are checking out social media during work hours, where they spend anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Then come all the eCommerce sites and streaming services that also waste a substantial amount of work hours.
With monitoring software, you can intervene and remind your employees about the company’s work policies regarding social media use and get them back on track. You’d also be surprised at how many employees like to play video games during work hours. But you’ll be one step ahead of that too.
If you were to use monitoring software to crackdown on social media users and ignored all the other metrics, you’d still double the productivity ratings. That’s how harmful social media websites are.
Holding Employees Accountable
Having an employee monitoring tool in place is a productivity boost in itself. When employees know their work and effort are being monitored, they’re less likely to engage in wasteful behaviors in the first place.
They know they’ll be accountable for any lack of commitment to the project at hand, so they put in the effort to make things happen.
On the other hand, employees are also aware that their hard work won’t go unnoticed. Some will see it as an encouragement to give their best, and such a mindset should be rewarded. Don’t forget that monitoring software can damage the morale and trust between managers and employees. Show your team that you value their effort — use the software to reward as well, not just to squeeze out every ounce of productivity you can.
Setting a Workplace Standard
Employees, especially remote workers, often have no idea what is expected of them in terms of productivity.
When you commit to using employee monitoring software, you set clear expectations for all your employees. Everyone will have an idea about what the general workplace productivity standard is and do their part to achieve it.
When they don’t, the software will let the managers know and they’ll be able to correct low productivity and align the employee with the workplace standard.
Use Employee Monitoring Software to Your Advantage
Using employee monitoring software, you can eliminate inefficient processes, improve the workflow, and get rid of common distractions such as social media, ultimately boosting overall productivity.
Monitoring software is not just for remote workers — your in-office productivity can benefit as well. However, don’t just force monitoring software onto your employees. Many of them see it as a sign of distrust and invasion of their privacy, increasing employee turnover.
Be open about why you’re using such software in the first place, and let the employees know that everyone is subject to the same treatment, even managers. After all, the increased productivity will benefit everyone in the workplace, not just the higher-ups.
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