The Need for Employee Computer Monitoring
Many businesses are faced with the decision of whether they should monitor their employees’ computer activities or not.
On the one hand, they realize there are many legitimate reasons for their employees to use the Internet. On the other hand, they also know that the Internet offers many ways to distract their employees. Social media, online games, shopping online, reading content, checking personal email and other activities are always beckoning an employee, diverting their time from productive tasks.
A study from as far back s 2005 showed that 87 percent of employees surf non-work-related websites while at work, and of those, 53 percent engage in personal web surfing every day[i]. While this certainly will result in a decrease of an employee’s productivity, only 35 percent of employees believe that surfing the Internet or sending non-work-related emails decreases productivity.
Even seasonal factors start coming into play. In late 2012, a survey by CareerBuilder found that half of workers planned to do some online holiday shopping from work.[ii]
Disadvantages of Traditional Tools
A common way used to combat employee productivity problems due to Internet surfing is to use some type of employee Internet monitoring software solution. Several of these types of solutions are highly invasive. In many situations, they are considered as “spyware.”
The biggest disadvantage is that they are designed for spying instead of managing. As the term “employee monitoring software” suggests, the employer monitors the employees in a control-center-type of setting, which allows the employer to see exactly what each employee is doing on his/her computer. While this is happening, the employee may not even know he/she is being watched by employee monitoring software. This could raise a potential legal issue, not to mention impact employee morale in a negative way while making employees uncomfortable about their working environment.
Furthermore, with the explosion of smartphone technology, an employee can pretty much do anything on a smartphone that they used to do on a desktop computer. How do you keep track and monitor your employees who are spending time on their personal social media sites on a smartphone? One recent study found that the average social media user spends over 7 hours per month on Facebook.[iii] Using smartphones, employees can access social media sites easily, perform their personal banking, read news and access Yelp to decide which restaurant to go for the evening. How are you going to stop smartphones from being a productivity drain in your company, effectively bypassing any spyware software?
We believe being a policeman or a spy of their employees is not the best way for company management to spend their time. Instead of implementing a strict employee computer monitoring system, establish a “quantifiable performance measurement solution” and let the numbers do the talking.
Measuring Instead of Spying
The right way to manage employee productivity is to measure rather than strictly monitor. For example, if your employee is at his/her lunch break, do you really care if they are doing personal banking? Also, for your salary exempt employees that work 60 hours a week, do you really care if they spend a few hours a week on the Internet with things not related to work?
Introducing MySammy. MySammy is designed as a quantifiable employee performance measurement solution. Our philosophy is to trust and verify. Instead of monitoring employee Internet access to sites that may be beneficial to their productivity, we provide the measurement tool to show the amount of active time employees spend in a week.
Do the Right Thing
A recent study indicated that as many as 30 million people or more telecommute on at least a part-time basis in the U.S.[iv] MySammy is ideal for telecommuting employees or virtual workers. MySammy does not collect sensitive data or screen shots, distinguishing it from spyware. It collects a minimum amount of data for management evaluation and avoids depriving users’ privacy.
MySammy does not believe in spying on employees, so when the software is installed on their PCs, your users will see MySammy start when they login. Talk to your employees about MySammy and how it will help the company reward productive workers and provide quantifiable data for annual performance evaluations. By simply announcing the existence of MySammy, you will immediately see a drop in unproductive Internet activities.
In the long run, you need to set performance standards with MySammy and hold your employees responsible to achieve those standards. MySammy is the best tool on the market to measure your employees’ diligence.
MySammy hosts its data in the Internet cloud. That means you can access your data anywhere in the world, from a PC or your iPhone or Android. Whether you are on a business/pleasure trip or just around the corner, MySammy is there for you. All you need is your email and password in order to access your data.
Try MySammy for free now for up to four employees, with no trial end date. Click here to view our plans and sign up today.
[i] Source: “Latest Telecommuting Statistics”, Global Workplace Analytics. June 2011. http://www.teleworkresearchnetwork.com/telecommuting-statistics
[ii] Source: “How Do People Spend Their Time Online?” May 2012. http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/online-time_b22186
[iii] Source: “Vault Internet Use in the Workplace Survey of Over 1,100 Employees.” Summer 2005. http://www.vault.com/surveys/internetusesurvey/home.jsp
[iv] Source: “Half of Workers Plan to Do Some Online Holiday Shopping at Work, CareerBuilder Study Finds”. November 2012. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=11%2F26%2F2012&id=pr726&ed=12%2F31%2F2012