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Employee Monitoring

Navigating Employee Monitoring: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

Let’s talk about a widely-debated theme: employee monitoring. Employee monitoring has a history tied to surveillance and oversight, sparking concerns from both employees and companies.Nevertheless, forward-thinking organizations grasp that it serves as a tool to gather crucial productivity data. 

According to an Accenture survey of C-suite Executives, 92% of workers are receptive to data collection concerning their work and themselves – provided it leads to improved performance, well-being, or offers personal advantages. 

When employed transparently and effectively, employee monitoring illuminates insights into people, processes, and technology. It fosters efficiency and employee engagement. Read on to find out more about employee monitoring, its types, and some employee monitoring examples.

What is Employee Monitoring?

Employee monitoring, simply put, is the practice of tracking and observing employee activities in the workplace. It encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at gathering data about employees’ work habits, performance, and compliance with company policies. Employee monitoring is conducted to achieve several key objectives:

  • Enhanced Productivity: Through tracking how employees spend their time, employers can identify inefficiencies, eliminate distractions, and optimize work processes to improve overall productivity. According to Canadian employees surveyed by Capterra, employee monitoring positively impacted efficiency, with 34% stating that it allowed employers to help them work more efficiently during work hours. Know more about 10 Tips for Choosing the Best Employee Productivity Tracking Software.
  • Fair Pay: Employee monitoring ensures that every person receives fair compensation for their work. As per the same Capterra survey, it had a positive impact on pay, with 38% noting that it ensured staff were never underpaid.
  • Security and Compliance: Employee monitoring helps organizations protect sensitive data, prevent security breaches, and ensure compliance with industry regulations and internal policies.
  • Performance Evaluation: Monitoring can provide valuable insights into individual and team performance, enabling fair and data-driven performance evaluations and assessments.
  • Legal Protection: Monitoring can help protect organizations against legal liabilities by documenting employee actions and interactions.
  • Resource Allocation: It assists in allocating resources effectively, such as optimizing staffing levels or managing equipment usage.

Also Read: Motivating Your Employees: 4 Ways How to Make an Office Much More Fun

Types of Employee Monitoring

When it comes to employee monitoring, organizations employ various methods to ensure their operations run smoothly. 

Computer Monitoring 

Computer monitoring encompasses techniques like keylogging, where keystrokes are tracked to monitor the content of emails, chats, and documents. Screen capture involves periodically taking screenshots to monitor employee activities. On the other hand, application usage tracking keeps tabs on which programs and software employees use during work hours. Internet usage monitoring helps keep an eye on websites visited and time spent online.

Email Monitoring 

Email monitoring, on the other hand, involves scanning email content and attachments for security breaches or policy violations. It also extends to monitoring email volume and response times. 

GPS Monitoring

For companies that require tracking of physical assets, GPS monitoring is essential. This method involves monitoring the location and movement of company-owned vehicles or mobile devices, often utilizing geofencing to restrict employee movement to designated areas. 

Video Surveillance 

Video surveillance plays a significant role in ensuring security and monitoring employees in common areas or sensitive locations, with recorded footage serving security purposes.

Phone Monitoring

Phone monitoring comes into play with the recording of phone calls. Such types of employee monitoring are often for quality assurance, training, or compliance purposes, as well as tracking call logs and durations.

Biometric Monitoring 

Biometric monitoring introduces advanced technology, utilizing biometric data like fingerprints or facial recognition for access control and even attendance tracking. 


Performance metrics are another facet of employee monitoring, where organizations analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to assess employee productivity, sales performance, or customer service quality. 

Network Activity Monitoring 

Lastly, network activity monitoring is crucial for analyzing network traffic to detect unauthorized access, malware, or data breaches.

Employee Monitoring Examples

Now that you’re aware of various employee monitoring techniques, here’s a firsthand look at how various industries employ such techniques to achieve their goals. These examples demonstrate the diverse applications of monitoring technology, from optimizing workflow to ensuring regulatory compliance.

  • Call Centers: Call center managers use call recording and performance metrics to evaluate customer service representatives’ interactions with clients, ensuring adherence to company scripts and customer satisfaction.
  • Manufacturing Plants: In manufacturing environments, video surveillance is employed for safety and quality control, monitoring employees’ adherence to safety protocols and assessing production efficiency.
  • Remote Work: With the rise of remote work, companies use time-tracking software to monitor hours worked, track project progress, and ensure remote employees remain productive. Out of companies with remote employees, 60% have implemented monitoring software to track employee productivity and activity, while an additional 17% are contemplating its adoption. 
  • Financial Services: In the financial industry, employee monitoring is crucial for complying with strict regulations. Firms track electronic communications, such as emails and instant messages, to prevent insider trading and protect client data.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare facilities use biometric monitoring to ensure only authorized personnel access restricted areas. Additionally, electronic health record systems track who accesses patient information to maintain patient confidentiality.
  • Retail: Retail businesses use video surveillance to prevent theft, monitor cashier transactions, and evaluate customer service interactions. This is one of the most common employee monitoring examples. 
  • Office Environments: In traditional office settings, computer monitoring tools track employees’ computer usage, internet activity, and email communication to ensure adherence to company policies and maintain network security.
  • Construction Sites: GPS tracking is used in the construction industry to monitor the location of equipment and vehicles, ensuring efficient resource allocation and preventing theft.
  • Sales Teams: Sales managers track call logs, emails, and performance metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of sales representatives and identify areas for improvement.
  • Legal Firms: Legal professionals use email monitoring and document tracking to maintain client confidentiality and ensure compliance with ethical guidelines.

To Sum Up

Employee monitoring has evolved from its historical associations with surveillance to become a valuable tool for organizations. It involves tracking and observing employee actions to enhance operations and boost performance. Various types of employee monitoring methods, such as email, GPS, and more, cater to specific needs across industries, promoting efficiency and security. Moreover, real-world examples across diverse sectors showcase the flexibility of employee monitoring. Workplaces today can benefit greatly from transparent and judicious employee monitoring practices. These can foster a culture of trust and accountability and embracing tools like Prohance workforce management software can further enhance organizational efficiency and success.