Can Electronic Surveillance of Employees Improve Productivity?

A look at the pros and cons of employee surveillance in the workplace.


Do you monitor your employee’s activity in the workplace? With the easy accessibility of social media, smartphones, and web browsing, employers are looking for ways to ensure employee productivity remains high despite possible distractions. Employee monitoring has one of the best means of determining what workers are really doing, but it’s important to first consider whether the choice to utilize employee monitoring is right for the climate of your business. Many businesses report positive results, but not all workplace environments respond positively to this type of monitoring. Before you begin, there are a few questions you should consider in light of your company’s culture and team members.


How Will Electronic Surveillance Improve My Employees’ Productivity?

Employee monitoring tools help maximize productivity and ensure compliance with your most important policies. With so many distractions on hand, it can be easy for employees to lose track of time browsing websites and checking social media. A significant loss of revenue for businesses comes from the inappropriate use of time by employees.


Employee Surveillance: Three Ways

At BrickHouse Security we offer several different options for monitoring office employees. These means can provide you with the information you need about your employees’ productivity, the means of inspiring greater productivity in your employees, and the ability to have greater knowledge and control over your employees’ action during the work day. These are the three most common forms of employee surveillance in the office:


Video Surveillance

Wireless, covert cameras can be placed both indoors and outdoors in order to monitor important locations around the business. Having cameras installed can help prevent employee theft, property vandalism, break-ins, and more. Having cameras trained on areas where employees frequently waste time, such as near entrances where smoke breaks are taken, or in employee kitchens where food and coffee are prepared, can allow employees to recognize that they could potentially be monitored in these areas, giving them the chance to correct undesirable behavior like taking extra long or frequent breaks or socializing for extended periods of time during work hours.


Mobile Monitoring

With mobile monitoring, employers gain a greater understanding of what their employees are doing on all company-owned mobile devices. This includes text and instant messages sent and received, incoming and outgoing calls, and social media channel communications. This measure may be seen as intrusive or unwelcome by employees, and for this reason it is only legal to do if the employees’ devices are company-owned or the employee grants consent. Mobile monitoring can allow employers to detect areas that are a time-suck for productivity, such as excessive social browsing, taking personal calls or exchanging personal messages, and engaging in other time-wasting, non-work-related activities.  


Computer Monitoring

Computer monitoring offers a wide variety of benefits, while being easy to install and completely customizable. Owners and managers are able to see every email sent and received, both sides of instant messaging chats, website browsing, social media channels visited, and all internet searches. In this way, employers can truly identify exactly where their employees’ time and efforts are going during work hours and whether they are working as diligently as they claim to be. More importantly than simply tracking employee behavior, computer monitoring software allows managers to see where the majority of an employee’s time is spent, where they are working efficiently, and where they are wasting efforts. In this way, employers can help to train their employees to work with more efficiency, thereby reaping better results.


Other Features of Employee Monitoring Software

Another great feature of Brickhouse Security’s computer monitoring is the ability to block specific websites, addresses, and keyword searches. The software also makes it possible to monitor employees working remotely, giving employers a clearer picture of their employees’ activities even when they are physically out of the office.

For even greater protection, this software can also help protect sensitive information by making the recovery of a stolen piece of technology a little easier. Laptop recovery software acts as an anti-theft tool by providing discreet, remote access to any computer, allowing you to locate it.


Is There a Reason I Shouldn’t I Use Electronic Surveillance?

The most common issue with incorporating electronic surveillance is the strain it can cause between employee and employer. Some employees may feel that they should be trusted and provided the freedom to work without restrictions and constant monitoring. If this is the prevailing attitude, implementing extensive monitoring can be detrimental to team morale, culture, commitment, and motivation.

However, if employers can be clear and up front with their employees about the monitoring tactics being used and the benefits of these applications, this can build trust between employer and employee, making the monitoring feel more natural and less nefarious. It’s also beneficial to keep communication open, from both directions. Employers should be providing information and education about the measures being taken to uphold company security, but they should also be listening to the concerns that their employees have by giving them a safe place for expression. Company-wide meetings and occasional security training sessions can help to build trust and provide employees with opportunities to ask questions and express concerns.  

If you have questions about the best tactics to use in the monitoring of your employees’ productivity, the experts at BrickHouse Security can help. We have worked with companies of all sizes, from small businesses to multi-location corporations, and we can help you assess your situation and make recommendations about the best tools to meet your needs. Contact us with your questions today!