Employee monitoring, which involves businesses tracking employee activity and engagement with workplace related tasks, is a powerful tool with serious implications for employers and employees.

A business using employee monitoring can measure productivity, track attendance, ensure security and collect proof of hours worked in a legal and quantifiable way. It can also detect suspicious activity and ensure that staff remain on task, as it provides a panoptical deterrent against malfeasance and laziness. Employers are able to explore internet activity, email use and a host of other metrics through dashboards and gain a detailed overview of an employee’s activity throughout the day.

The uses and application of employee monitoring have evolved in recent decades. Technological developments have allowed employee surveillance to grow more sophisticated. As a result, employee monitoring today is not only more widespread than it was just a few years ago, it is unrecognisable from previous methods. The proliferation of smart devices, particularly wearables, for example, has granted companies potential access to an abundance of employee data. From hours slept and steps taken to overall employee happiness and stress levels, the volume and quality of data available would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.

Jan-Mar 2018 Issue

Richard Summerfield