What the Tech? How to Monitor Employees Who Are Working from Home

When companies sent employees home to work remotely during the pandemic, many people were elated. Working in PJs, being able to do a load of laundry in the middle of the day or starting dinner early was seen as a huge benefit.

As time went on, many employers began searching for ways to keep track of how employees spend their time during work hours. Two companies became very popular in the corporate world for software that would help employers keep tabs on employees.

Hubstaff is software that is loaded onto a desktop or laptop computer being used by a remote worker. It keeps track of websites they visit, how long they spend on those websites, social media usage, efficiency tools, and GPS tracking. Hubstaff has other features of course including automated payrolls, project budgeting, scheduling, and productivity measurements. But it’s the
employee surveillance tools we’ll talk about here.

Hubstaff features Geofencing tools that can be set up to notify a manager when an employee leaves a location. It also takes screenshots of the worker’s computer to monitor their use of the web and the computer. If an employee spends time watching YouTube videos, the manager will be notified and be able to see how much time is spent on the website.

Time Doctor is another software program with similar managing tools. It tracks an employee’s time spent on the job including any time spent using websites and apps. If an employee spends time playing Solitaire or using social media, the manager will receive a report at the end of the day with that information.

Managers can also track any breaks the employee takes away from the computer and automatically take screenshots of the computer screen to track activity. Both programs can be installed on a company-issued computer without the employee’s
permission or knowledge.

QuickBooks Time Tracker (formerly TSheets) is from Intuit and is an app installed on smartphones. While it is used primarily for tracking hour’s worked and team schedules it can also track an employee’s whereabouts using the phone’s GPS location data along with when they arrived and how long they spent at that location.

This brings up privacy concerns for employees who may worry their boss or manager does not trust them to do their job without someone looking over their shoulder.


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