Should you monitor your employees’ internet usage? Find out how it could benefit your organisation with Handdy.
Hybrid and remote working models have become increasingly popular since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this greatly benefitted many, it has also disrupted regular, long-standing working patterns, causing COOs and business managers concerns.
Companies had to adapt quickly to new circumstances initially — allowing employees more flexibility to work from home or remote locations — but now, organisations need to revamp their internal processes to maintain adequate cybersecurity, productivity and employee well-being.
Monitoring employee internet usage is one of the ways many organisations are succeeding in the post-COVID world, so should you be tracking your employee’s online activity?
Why Monitor Employee Internet Usage?
Having access to employee internet usage data is essential in the new era of work. If you’ve adopted a hybrid or flexible working model in the past two years, your processes must reflect the new circumstances your business is faced with. According to recent studies, more than £11 million has been lost due to COVID-19 scams since January 2020. In addition, almost half of individuals working from home have admitted to making a mistake at work that had repercussions for security.
With so much at stake, more refined processes — alongside more training and enhanced internet security — are required to protect employees and businesses in the modern working environment. Opting to monitor employee internet usage will allow your managers to:
1. Maximise Employee Productivity
Your entire workforce must use their time effectively. More top performers leave long-standing posts, leaving the rest of your team to pick up the slack. This is where sub-optimal productivity can have a huge impact on your business, typically resulting in missed deadlines, poor quality work and frustration among other employees.
If team members find time to spare — or procrastinate over important tasks — you need to promote positive engagement to keep them on track with their personal development. Taking bold steps to align your employees’ new working conditions with your company goals is key to success, so why not take a moment to learn about Handdy’s features and find out if your organisation could benefit from employee monitoring software.
2. Reduce Unproductive Behaviours
It’s been reported that work-from-home professionals are watching more TV during work hours since the beginning of the pandemic. While your employees are entitled to do what they please during their breaks, watching TV when they should be working is unacceptable. The same goes for visiting social media sites or playing games while at work.
These unproductive practices can be quelled by monitoring browsing patterns and application usage, allowing you to spot employees who aren’t making the best use of their time. Letting your employees know that you’ll be monitoring their online activity at work also promotes a better working environment. Working remotely can blur the lines between employees’ professional and personal lives, but apps like Handdy help create a clear boundary between work and everything else.
3. Protect Company Property
Allowing employees to use company equipment like laptops and desktop computers has many benefits, but company property needs to be protected. You can easily install apps and software like Handdy remotely to ensure that company practices are upheld, safeguarding your employees and devices as a result.
If company property is misused, it can likely result in expensive repairs and decreased productivity. Monitoring employee activity online while they’re working can reduce the likelihood of misuse, saving your company time and money. It could also protect your business from a data breach.
4. Protect Sensitive Company Information
Your company holds all kinds of sensitive information. Modern organisations need robust cybersecurity protocols in place to protect passwords, login credentials and confidential details. Still, it’s been reported that 47% of individuals have fallen for a phishing scam while working from home. Simple mistakes like these could put your entire business in jeopardy.
Monitoring employee internet activity can help establish the correct working procedures for your workforce to follow, meaning they will be less likely to accidentally give out sensitive information about your organisation or fall foul of increasingly convincing scams. It will also discourage employees from visiting unsafe or unauthorised sites using work equipment.
5. Ensure Optimal Employee Performance
Using employee monitoring software can help your employees achieve their potential. You can gain insights from granular information about employee performance collected, allowing you to see how employees are getting on in their roles. If they’re spending too much or not enough time on a particular aspect of their job, they may need extra support in upholding their responsibilities.
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your employees can inform personal development and hiring decisions. Still, you can only assess these employee characteristics if you and your management team know exactly how well — or how poorly — your staff are performing.
What if Employees Aren’t Using the Internet Responsibly?
If you discover that employees aren’t using their time at work responsibly, you need to put a stop to it straight away. Continuation may harm your organisation or it’s shareholders, so follow these steps as soon as possible:
- Use Evidence to Support Your Case — Employees are likely to become defensive if misconduct has been uncovered. They might be embarrassed or disgruntled, which could result in difficult conversations. For this reason, you need to ensure that any wrongdoing has been recorded. Handdy can record employees’ online activity and has in-depth analytics and reporting capabilities, including websites visited and screenshots of employees’ online activity. This keeps you in the know at all times.
- Have a Private Discussion with the Employee — Arrange a private meeting with your employee and an HR representative, depending on the severity of the incident. The aim of the meeting should be to understand why certain behaviours occurred and make sure that actions aren’t repeated. Take this opportunity to ask the employee about anything they might be struggling with, as there are usually underlying reasons for distracted behaviour or poor conduct.
- Reaffirm Your Policies around Internet Usage — Be clear about how you expect employees to use company equipment and their time at work. Keep employees up-to-date with the latest company guidelines so that nobody is caught out or left in the dark about what they should and shouldn’t do during work hours or while using company equipment. Handdy has several useful features that make keeping track of your employees productivity levels, browsing patterns and application usage simple.
Remember to inform employees that you’ll be monitoring their internet usage and work-based activity. You can’t roll out employee monitoring software without their knowledge, but you can implement this remotely and seamlessly, causing minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations.
Setting up Employee Monitoring Software
Monitoring your employees’ internet usage can help protect your organisation from a myriad of potential issues. It also helps your employees stay protected by making them more aware of their online activity, keeping them safe online and allowing them to perform to the best of their abilities. If you think your processes seem out-of-date in light of the recent global challenges, it might be time to invest in new ways of working.
Guarantee the success of your organisation by putting your employees first. Start a free trial and discover a better way to monitor employee internet usage, or get in touch to find out how Handdy can help your business stay ahead of the curve.