With recent worldwide epidemic scares, many companies are asking their employees to work from home as much as possible. Statistics show that even without an imminent threat from illnesses like the coronavirus, companies would do well to prepare for the ever-increasing proportion of employees who work remotely. According to an analysis by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics, there has been a significant upward trend in the number of people who now work remotely in the United States. Figures indicate that there was a whopping 91% increase in remote workers in the last decade, and the trend continues.
The reasons more employees are working remotely are clear. A major plus for remote workers -and their employers – is that remote workers tend to be healthier. Indeed’s Remote Work Survey shows that 50% of workers report that they take a reduced number of sick days when they work remotely. In the face of pandemic threats, a healthier workforce is an important consideration. The 2019 IWG Global Workplace Survey states that 85% of businesses confirm that productivity increases when employees have greater flexibility to work outside of the office. FlexJobs notes that many companies report that allowing employees to work remotely can lead to lower operating costs. Workers say that an improved work/life balance decreases their stress levels, increases their morale, and strengthens their job satisfaction.
So the question becomes, how can companies maintain full visibility of the workforce when an increasing number of their employees work remotely?
Using Advanced Technology to Solve the Problem
Making sure that all employees remain on-task and productive can seem like an overwhelming responsibility in today’s business environment. Now that increasing numbers of remote workers have become the “new normal” for many organizations, employers are taking steps to ensure that employees are engaged in their tasks and productive when they work outside the office. It turns out that while managing remote workers once seemed like an impossible task, careful tracking of remote workers is now easy and increasingly commonplace. Managers and C-suite executives use employee monitoring systems that provide all the information they need to see who is working hard and who is hardly working, whether employees are present in the office or working at a remote location.
Advanced employee monitoring helps businesses stay on top of employee behavior and encourage productivity. Today’s comprehensive employee monitoring systems can track and record online employee activity to ensure compliance with company policies, provide video playback of all onscreen activity, and issue real-time alerts to insider threats. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports inform managers of the productivity of each employee for both in-office and remote workers.
Deploying an Employee Monitoring Solution
It’s no secret that the top time wasters for employees are reading the news websites, checking social media accounts, chatting with co-workers, and searching for a new job during working hours. In fact, studies show that some employees are on-task and genuinely productive for an average of fewer than three hours a day. Comprehensive employee monitoring systems like Veriato Cerebral can add a whole new dimension to help managers stay on top of employee activity, even if workers are out of the office during working hours. Conventional on-premise options can be supplemented by cloud capabilities to manage remote workers.
The best comprehensive employee monitoring solutions are easy to use and allow managers to record and review everything remote workers do on their PCs, Macs, and Android devices. For example, Veriato Cerebral is deployed and managed remotely from a dashboard, so managers need not visit an employee’s device physically. Organizations can customize the solution to fit their requirements.
Recorded data in the following categories enables managers to understand what employees are doing with their time, and exactly how long they are actively working:
- Chats and instant messages
- Social media sites
- Sent and received emails
- File downloads
- Network connections and bandwidth consumed
- Documents printed or copied to USB sticks
- Online searches
- Websites visited
- Application usage
- Keystrokes typed
Armed with actionable information, managers can assess the problem as the first step toward finding solutions to keep remote employees on task and productive. Managers can also schedule daily, weekly, or monthly productivity reports. They can now monitor remote workers to eliminate inappropriate use of the Internet and protect against threats like data theft of client lists, financials, or private customer information.
How Employee Monitoring Works to Supervise Remote Workers
Through targeted advanced technology, sophisticated employee monitoring systems can record onscreen activity, track productivity, provide searchable screen recordings, and provide keyword and event alerts in real-time. Advanced systems offer cloud-based software, so IT infrastructure is not required.
Screen Recordings and DVR Playback
Comprehensive employee monitoring systems like Veriato act like a digital surveillance camera pointed directly at the employee’s PC, Mac, or Android device. The system takes snapshots of everything that appears on a remote worker’s screen as often as once per second. The resulting digital surveillance recording can be played back later, so managers can review everything the employee was up to on the device, even if they work remotely. These recordings can be exported as JPG or AVI files for use as management tools, or, in the event of wrongdoing, for HR actions and as evidence in wrongful termination suits.
Advanced employee monitoring systems produce customizable employee activity reports that can be viewed online or emailed, so supervisors have the clarity they need to manage effectively and maximize productivity. Knowing that a program is open does not tell the whole story. Sophisticated monitoring systems not only track how long a program remains open but also how long the employee is actively using the application.
Organizations can receive real-time alerts of suspicious activities that allow supervisors to react quickly to protect critical data. Custom alerts can inform managers when a remote employee attempts to visit a restricted site or download non-productive programs and apps.
Employee Monitoring to Manage a Remote Workforce
Unfortunately, some remote workers may feel emboldened by a diminished sense of accountability to the organization, leading to decreased productivity and an increase in insider threats. The advanced Veriato employee monitoring system can help you establish a baseline that shows typical behavior for each employee and alert you to shifts so you can respond quickly and appropriately.
Many organizations choose to monitor employees in stealth mode, so remote employees are not aware of the surveillance and do not alter their behavior to evade detection. Veriato employee monitoring software can reveal reduced productivity as well as serious issues such as fraud and data theft. It can also reveal employees who become victims of malware activity by cybercriminals. Managers are notified when employees search for a new job, prompting an in-depth review of monitoring details to find downloaded documents and other unauthorized activity.
Veriato is a comprehensive employee monitoring system that can help companies stay on top of remote employee behavior, promote productivity, and reveal insider threats. To find out more about the Veriato employee monitoring system and how it can help you manage remote workers, visit Veriato.com, or call 1-888-598-2788.