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Stealth Computer Monitoring of Employees Working Remotely


Stealth Computer Monitoring of Employees Working Remotely

© Antonio Zugaldia | Flickr

Many companies have already seen value in their cooperation with professionals, performing their tasks while staying at home or remote offices. Between 2005 and 2012, the number of companies, which allow at least part-time working from home, doubled and reached 63%, and the number of companies, making a practice of full-time remote working, amounted to 20%. The evidence from practice suggests that both employers and employees can avail of this form of cooperation:

  • Talented people from remote areas and even other countries can get a job with good prospects without leaving their homes and families. In addition, broader employment prospects open up for disabled people and those who are searching for multiple jobholding. When working remotely, employees get a great chance to reduce their time and financial expenditures, since they don’t need to travel to the workplace (not to mention other expenses like business lunches and so on).
  • On the other hand, hiring remote employees is also beneficial to employers, as they can save on renting and maintaining office spaces, as well as on arranging workforce transportation and other associated affairs. Besides, there are wider prospects for cooperation with qualified employees from various regions. Employers can even engage more qualified workforce spending less on remuneration of labor due to wages differential in major cities and developed countries compared to remote regions.

However, there is always a downside. When shifting to remote cooperation, company owners and management often face problems with high personnel turnover, low motivation, failures to meet deadlines and other concerns related to lack of control. At this point, it turns out that you need something more than just a computer, Internet connection and telephone line for working effectively – you need a convenient and productive tool to monitor your staff working remotely.

Stealth Remote Computer Monitoring Tool

Stealth computer monitoring software is one of the options you can choose from in order to control and manage your remote workers. Similar to other employee monitoring software, it is installed on computers with the aim to provide an ongoing insight into various types of user’s activity. Usually, this includes:

  • monitoring of web-resources visited by your employees

For example, Work Examiner shows who visits what and at what time, as well as how long the person stays on a web-page and whether he/she is active or inactive on it. Thus, you can find out whether your staff’s web surfing during the working time is associated with their tasks or not. Also, you will learn whether your remote employee is really working or just pretend to be working.

  • providing search queries entered into a search box by your staff members

This feature of stealth computer monitoring allows proving that during their working hours your team members don’t search for inappropriate content or for any content related to their personal affairs or for another job – you would prefer to know about your employee’s intentions beforehand, wouldn’t you?

  • capturing screenshots, which show what is seen by a user on the screen of his/her computer

You can spot an employee playing a computer game instead of completing a project and rap him or her over the knuckle. Such a tool as Work Examiner allows viewing screenshots in both real time and record modes, so you can remind your remote employee about his/her duties immediately or take measures based on the results of regular monitoring.

  • delivering information about mouse and keyboard usage

Your remote employee cannot be working at the computer without using either keyboard or mouse, right? So, if your stealth computer monitoring software shows that the person uses neither of them for 2 hours, it’s a good reason to revise your agreement on hourly pay.

  • showing applications used by a remote employee

Some of these apps can be required for the fulfillment of tasks assigned, for example, MS Word or Excel, but other can be unwanted and distractive, such as all kinds of social media apps or games. By getting your staff’s computers monitored, you can learn whether they work or entertain themselves. Also, Work Examiner software allows monitoring both active and inactive time spent in applications – thus, if your remote employee opened a Word file and then went somewhere for half a day, you will know about this.

  • capturing e-mails and messages sent by your team members

The software can remotely capture all kinds of communication, from e-mails to chats. Particularly, Work Examiner monitoring tool keeps track of the time, sender and content of any message, not to mention additional information. This helps in preventing sensitive data leakage, dissemination of defamatory information about your company, violation of business etiquette when communicating with clients and partners, as well as spending working hours on personal affairs.

  • saving keystrokes typed in any program on your employee’s computer

Stealth computer monitoring software saves and stores all keystrokes based on your customized configurations – for example, you can set up to save keystrokes typed in a certain application. This feature is useful for employers who are concerned about sensitive data protection and interested in a possibility to scan chats, messages, emails and documents by certain keywords.

From Monitoring to Actions

However, stealth computer monitoring can give you more opportunities than just watching and reading. For example, Work Examiner software adds two useful options:

  • blocking

Due to the software, you can relieve your team members from the temptation to be distracted from their assignments. Prohibit the use of certain applications or visits to particular websites remotely – you can make black lists to ban any unwanted computer activity or you can compile white lists to allow only workflow-related apps, as well as you can configure permitted timeframe for using some websites and programs. Work Examiner software can be even set up to notify your staff members about the time left – this will allow them to complete all tasks in the application within the given timeframe.

  • analyzing

Stealth computer monitoring is often accompanied by generating various reports, which give employers plenty of important stats on their remote staff activity. In particular, Work Examiner provides multiple reports on users, computers, applications, thus clearly showing when your employees start and finish working, how long they really work (active time), how much time they spend using a certain application and so on. Based on this information, you will be able to make grounded decisions and to take reasonable measures towards increased labor productivity.

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