How To Practice Ethical Monitoring in a Remote Work Environment?


Monitoring a remote workforce is a complex and intricate issue. With the right monitoring approach, businesses can empower remote employees and boost productivity without overstepping into an employee’s privacy. More businesses than ever are shifting to remote work environments, making it compulsory for businesses to monitor work activities and productivity levels of employees. Employee monitoring software plays a vital role in capturing employee work activities but also raises the question of employee privacy issues. That’s where ways of ethical monitoring come into play. It helps you to know about effective monitoring methods, how much to monitor while maintaining transparency, and how to protect employee privacy lawfully.

Ethical monitoring is the right way of measuring employee work activities by balancing the act of privacy, consent, legality, and transparency. When all of this is done properly, businesses can ensure a more supportive and productive work environment.

There are many benefits of ethical monitoring when it is done collaboratively and transparently. We know that an employee monitoring system raises a lot of questions about business culture, ethical issues, workplace privacy, and monitoring laws — this article will teach you how to eliminate issues surrounding employee monitoring ethics using the CloudDesk approach. In this article, we’ll also discuss details about ethical monitoring and highlight its key benefits and consequences, considering the issue from multiple angles and on several levels. You’ll also learn how to ensure your approach to ethical monitoring fosters a productive team of remote employees. By the time you finish reading, you’ll gather complete insights that you need to successfully implement an effective monitoring system in your business that’s a win-win-win for employers, employees, and the enterprise.

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What is the Difference Between Employee Monitoring and Ethical Monitoring?

Before we discover how to conduct ethical monitoring, let’s learn a bit about what employee monitoring is and how it works. Employee monitoring is the process of tracking and monitoring employee’s work activities using a monitoring software on an employee’s work computer. There are a variety of monitoring softwares available in the market, ranging from video monitoring to computer activities monitoring to full spy monitoring.

On the other hand, ethical monitoring is a way of monitoring employees using software to track their work progress and measure their productivity without invading an employee’s privacy. With a growing number of remote employees, businesses are constantly looking for an effective solution that can assure them that their remote employees are actually working instead of wasting their time. Which is why more and more businesses are implementing software to track and monitor their remote employees. By implementing employee monitoring ethics and fairness, you can establish a transparent employee monitoring system, where your employees can work without worrying about losing their personal information.

Why is Ethical Monitoring Important for Employees?

Simply put, it is important because employees don’t want any monitoring software to capture their private data and keep record of it.  Employees consider it as a personal privacy invasion!

Constant monitoring of employee computer usage during working hours may make them uncomfortable. It reduces employee morale and trust, and can lead to resentment in the virtual workplace. This is particularly true for employees who have never used a monitoring software before and may find it overwhelming. Watching employees’ personal information/messages just to make sure employees are not jeopardizing company data is never the right way of monitoring. Sure, there could be some employees who might not act as expected, but assuming everyone is similar could hamper workplace behavior and directly influence their motivation and performance. Furthermore, there is a huge difference between monitoring and privacy violation. While monitoring means checking an employee’s progress, privacy violation means spying on employees’ personal information that has nothing to do with your business.

Read More: How To Monitor Effectively Without Spying On Employees

Moreover, to maintain fairness and gain employee trust in a remote work environment, never monitor employees without their consent. This could be a serious concern in some states and countries and cause legal issues. The easiest way to start with monitoring software is by letting your employees know what you will be monitoring and following the standard monitoring regulation as per your and your employees’ state/country.

Taking the Right Approach for Ethical Monitoring

Before you implement a monitoring software you should always first consult with your organization’s legal counsel, so that you can establish a crystal clear monitoring policy which will never violate your employee’s rights. While employee monitoring software is 100% legal, privacy laws can be different from one country to another. Obviously the legality of employee monitoring is not the only thing for consideration, a positive approach is much more important. In fact, establishing, preserving, and appreciating the trust of your remote team members should be the core focus. The good news is that it is absolutely possible to monitor your remote employees’ computer work activity without hurting their trust or privacy. Here’s what you need to do:

Examine your motivations: Employee monitoring is not just about collecting employee work data, it is also about how you use this data to analyze employee work progress and efficiency. Your core target of monitoring and tracking employee work activity should be to know how employees work and whether they are working efficiently or not. A study from an Accenture survey says that 92% of employees actually want their company to collect data as long as it’s used to boost their productivity and performance.

Be transparent: Maintaining transparency is one of the top concerns when it comes to ethical monitoring. Create a detailed draft of the employee monitoring policy and share it with all your remote team members. Here’s what you need to clearly state in your company policy:

  • The main reason for using employee monitoring software and how the software tracks.
  • List of exactly what you’ll monitor: time tracking, screenshot, internet usage engagement checking, etc.
  • Implementation of monitoring software on computers and why.
  • The duration of monitoring hours.

All this information will clarify your monitoring purpose strongly and relieve your employees from worrying about their privacy.

Use ethical employee monitoring and productivity software: By now you already know that employee monitoring and productivity software is one of the most popular ways of keeping track of remote employee work activity. As a business owner, all that you have to do is to install the software in your employee’s computer and start tracking when they work. Make certain that the software you choose addresses your needs as well as respects your remote employee’s privacy.

Embrace Ethical Monitoring with the Right Productivity Software

The above-mentioned methods are extremely useful ways to ensure that you are approaching employee monitoring policy in a transparent, professional, and open way in which your employees will feel confident to use the software and build strong relationships with you. To do so, you really need to choose an employee monitoring software that is built in the same ethical way.

At CloudDesk, we value employee privacy and focus on metrics that help employees to flourish in their field. CloudDesk is a great employee monitoring software that boosts employee productivity in a way that benefits everyone, helps to create a better productive workplace, and empowers employees. With no hidden or stealth features, the software is an ideal software to track and monitor all your distributed employees under a single dashboard.

Almost every company, regardless of their size, monitors their employees today. Ineffective employee monitoring can lead to legal hassles and a negative company reputation. To avoid all these hassles try CloudDesk today. It comes with a 14-day Free Trial option that will help you to understand the app better. Simply use the tips we suggested and ensure practice of ethical monitoring in your organization.

CloudDesk's employee monitoring software can boost productivity and employee satisfaction by providing more flexibility.
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