How can I track work-from-home employees?

Man watching woman work on laptop

More and more people worldwide have grown accustomed to working from home, and many companies want to learn how to track those employees’ work and progress, which leads to the real question: Should you track your remote employees? Looking over employees’ shoulders is bad for both privacy and business. Here’s why.

Measuring time and efficiency

There is no way to actually tell if a person is working, at least without invading their privacy. Someone could produce the amount of work expected in a shorter amount of time. 

Instead, you can use a time-tracking tool. It will show when an employee clocks in and out, and it measures the amount of time for each project. Harvest is one tool to do this, and you will be respecting your employees’ privacy. 

People will work better when they are being treated well and are respected, rather than employers having suspicion by default. Setting boundaries is important in creating a healthy work environment, and tracking time is a median for both employers and their employees.

Monitoring programs

There are programs to monitor your employees’ progress and movements, such as Interguard, which allows employers to track website visits, mouse movements, and keystrokes. It can even take screenshots of employees’ computers to produce a video of everything they do. However, it’s not worth it. 

Tracking employees this way can produce distractions, create a toxic work environment, and even cause a high turnover rate. People appreciate their privacy, and to invade it is wrong. If you can’t trust your employees, there is another underlying issue at hand. 

Managers and supervisors don’t typically walk around the office and count each mouse click, watch every website that is visited, and so on. These types of monitoring programs can and will be easily abused. If an employee is getting their work done and doing their job as they should, why waste time and money tracking their every move?

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