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The Benefits Of Tracking Employees Internet Use

As an employer you’re in a position to ensure that the time that your employees spend working is productive. However, with the internet providing an endless supply of entertainment, how employees conduct themselves online can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Research suggests that the average full-time worker spends between 90-270 minutes every day, with the majority of it on the internet.

Many business owners, consequently are considering whether it is appropriate to monitor the internet use of their employees and whether it’s a good practice for the overall health of their company.

The Benefits of Monitoring Employees

Since wages are your biggest cost, any solution which reduces time wastage is likely provide your company with significant advantages. Employees are less likely to be scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos when they are aware that their actions are closely monitored.

There are additional benefits as well Monitoring allows you to discover which employees are doing well online and areas those who are struggling. Monitoring the internet use of employees can provide you with an idea of those who require further instruction and who doesn’t, which will allow you to make better utilization of your funds. Monitoring internet usage can assist in increasing security, by stopping employees from accessing websites which could compromise your network.

The Issues of Monitoring employees

The benefits of employee monitoring internet usage are obvious, however there are a few reasons you may not be able to monitor what your employees have been doing on the internet, with the primary reason being the impact on morale.

It could be that the most effective way to ensure the most productivity from employees is to control their use of the internet, but when employees feel they’re always being watched it could impact their mood, which ultimately, can affect their performance.

There’s also an ethical question that is: should employers be able to track every interaction a person makes on the internet? Monitoring everything employees do on the internet could be a way to get around a wall that they wouldn’t typically cross in real life. Employers don’t listen in on conversations between employees and their spouses or track them through shopping malls, taking notes of the items they purchase. However, this is exactly what happens when an employer begins to track the use of the internet at work. This may seem like an excellent concept, as you may consider it your right as the proprietor of the network of computers however, it’s an enormous privacy violation that would not be considered acceptable in other situations.

It’s also important to note that monitoring your internet activity isn’t going to be very effective in preventing the wasting of time. If an employee is aware that you’re watching their every movement on your work computers, they’ll switch to their mobile devices and connect to an alternative network. So, an online monitoring policy isn’t going to give you the outcome you desire: less time wastage. Instead, it’ll replace it. The employees will then move to the next most effective option.

You can try to prohibit all mobile devices from work, however you’re in the middle of a Dickensian situation. Your employees will not only be shut out of their networks, but your image as an employer could be damaged because people do not want to lose their devices, and they will be irritated by their employer. Morale is bound to fall.

What is the legal aspect? Do there have to be legal requirements to be considered when monitoring?

Legal guidelines exist that employers must follow when it comes to monitoring. If you choose to monitoryour employees, you must establish written policies. The monitoring should be appropriate to the circumstances and justifiable. The staff you employ must be informed of the length you’ll keep the data you gather.

The most effective method for monitoring to be justified is to say that it can help “safeguard” the employees. It may be necessary to monitor employee activity online to protect them and secure the assets of your company.