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Work Time Monitoring Software: Pro Et Contra


Work Time Monitoring Software

© Marco Verch | Flickr

How do you keep track of time spent by your employees at their workplace? Many companies use some kind of turnstiles at the entrance to the office premises, which require producing a pass, and thus allow collecting data on staff’s attendance. If somebody is late to work or leaves the workplace before the end of a business day or has too many coffee breaks, this comes to senior managers’ notice immediately and this is a good motivation for the employees to spend more time at their offices. The question is whether you want your personnel just spending time in the office or you want them working.

On the other hand, there are free computer monitoring programs, which allow obtaining information on what your personnel is really doing, while sitting down at their computers. The idea is simple, yet brilliant – to provide senior managers with a convenient and helpful tool for controlling and analyzing staff’s computer activity. And this is right poke in the eye! When sitting at their desktops, your employees can play video games, read news, search for some products through online-stores or like somebody’s pictures on Facebook – anything, but working. Would you refuse using computer activity monitoring software free to catch them red-handed?

The more so that nowadays there is quite a choice of software developed to track computer activity by some means or other. The software works as a kind of time tracking systems mentioned above, but unlike the latter, it doesn’t require any other equipment, for example turnstiles. It is enough to install the program on each desktop in your office and it will start tracking time spent by your employees online, taking screenshots, compiling reports, sending notifications via e-mail and so on.

On the one hand, both commercial computer monitoring software and freeware are very useful for an employer, since the apps allow improving work time efficiency based on facts and analytics. On the other hand, this is a kind of spying and can be considered as intrusion into privacy. Your staff is unlikely to be happy when learning about your surveillance and there can be some legal issues, too. So, is the game worth the candle? Let’s sort it out.

Legal and Ethical Issues Around Up Time Monitor Systems

It should be understood that the employee monitoring software is not designed to let somebody into someone’s personal life. The main task of such applications is to increase labor productivity. Honestly, staff should not be concerned with the personal matters in the workplace, shouldn’t they? Sure, employees should be provided with lunch breaks and other leisure opportunities in accordance with both country's employment and labor laws and company’s bylaws. As we know, many large and small companies allow their employees to relax and even have some fun at the workplace, as Google does, for example. But this doesn’t alter the fact that employees receive their salary for working, rather than for entertaining themselves. So, it seems like employers are at liberty to use computer tracking software in order to provide work time control, since there has to be no personal matters at workplace at all.

Besides, the legal side of the issue seems to support employers. Sure, employment and labor laws can vary depending on country, but in the United States it was determined by the Supreme Court that companies are eligible to monitor the staff at the workplace, as well as to keep track of how company’s equipment is used, including desktops. Many countries have similar laws and generally consider it legal to deploy work time monitoring software. However, in the United States there are also some restrictions imposed by certain states – they require employers to inform the staff about the surveillance. So, it might turn out that the employee monitoring apps are legal in your country or state, but you need to notify your personnel about checking their e-mails, online activity and keystrokes.

And here one can ask:"What is the point in spying if my employees are aware of it? It is much more interesting to learn how they work when they don’t know that they are being watched." Yes, this is more interesting, but is this more efficient? What are your reasons for using free computer monitoring software? To make your staff work more diligently? Well, you can reach the goal exactly due to the fact that they know that they are being watched!

Think like this – if your employees know that their activity on the computers are being monitored, they will stop wasting their time on visiting social networks, watching videos, playing games and other types of entertainment. This is especially true, if you learn how to effectively use those analytical tools provided by the work time software. For example, you can figure out who of your employees is the most hardworking and reward the person to show others that diligence pays and to motivate them. Also, you can find out what distracts your staff from working and take corresponding measures to create more comfortable working environment. All these add to improving labor productivity – in the end, isn’t it your initial goal?

Besides, in due course of time your employees will get used to being monitored and at that point you will get one of two options – either they will become more disciplined (which is what you wanted) or they will forget about the surveillance (this is where you will come in all glory punishing wrongdoers). However, while using your computer monitoring software free, you’d better focus on effective motivation, since your aim is to foster rather than punish.

Motivation for Employees

It might sound strange, but sooner or later your staff can even become grateful for your introduction of computer time monitoring software. How is this possible? The software can be used as an effective tool when it comes to conflict resolution at the workplace. For example, one of your employees published a stupid message compromising your brand on the corporate page in a social network. How can you find out who is responsible for the mistake, when all your employees have access to the corporate account? Will they be happy to catch an earful for nothing? But with the help of computer tracking software, you will be able to easily discover whom to blame, while the rest of your employees will appreciate the useful features of free computer monitoring.

Besides, there are many people who cannot boast self-management skills. And this prevents them from achieving success in their field of activity! But when tightly controlled, they have no choice but to give one hundred percent. So, your surveillance can really help some of your employees to get rid of bad habits that hinder their personal growth and to move up the career ladder or to receive a raise. When they realize this, they will be more open to the idea of applying tools provided by free PC monitoring software to your workflow. Again, this is true only in case you do not misapply the surveillance tools, just snooping on your employees for the share pleasure.

Which of Time Monitor Tools to Use?

In fact, your choice in favor or against such a type of software largely depends on your personal experience. As the saying runs, a picture is worth a thousand words – you will be able to weigh all the pros and cons more reasonably by installing the program and testing it for some time. However, it is rather stupid to purchase a pay version, when you are not quite sure whether you need it or not, right? On the other hand, some developers offer their internet tracking software for free, but often those free products are a far cry from the best examples of the employee monitoring tools. And what is the point?

The point is that you can benefit from choosing a free trial version of the reliable software like Work Examiner. This client-server application features great functionality covering:

  • work time tracking
  • control over online activity
  • security-improving surveillance

It ranks among the best employee monitoring software, boasting easy deployment, abundance of functions, responsive customer support and many other advantages. And one of them is the possibility to try the app for 30 days at no charge. Avail yourself of the offer and take this user monitoring software free!

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