How to Monitor your Employees’ Internet Usage

How to Monitor your Employees' Internet Usage

Many companies today hire remote workers from anywhere in the world. While the office is somewhere else and employees are working from their homes, you need to monitor your employees’ internet usage during office hours. 

What can employers do to track their employees’ online activities during working hours? Well, employers can deploy employee monitoring apps on their employees’ devices. Through the employee tracking tool, employers can keep track of all employee activities. 

Watching employees for their internet usage during work benefits a company in several ways. You can find out what is causing a decline in employee productivity.

Also, you can find employees more productive time and they are working on work-related projects or not. 

How to Begin Employees’ Computers Monitoring for The Internet Usage?

You can simply monitor employees’ computers by installing monitoring software on the computers of the employees. You can get your favorite employee monitoring software on the market.

Most of the software offers a free trial period. The paid/premium version is even better than the free ones. 

Starting today, you can monitor employee productivity and internet usage by: 

  1. Downloading & installing the software for a free trial. 
  2. Using the client software on each computer you wish to monitor. You can use the built-in remote deployment tool offered inbuilt in the software itself.
  3. After installing employee monitoring tools, you can monitor your employees’ computer activities, including their internet usage and application usage.

Is it Ethical to Monitor Your Employees’ Internet Usage? 

Is it legal to monitor your employees’ internet usage if they are using company computers for email and browsing the web?

Employee monitoring can help you avoid lawsuits, theft, or sabotage. In some cases, an employee may be legally responsible for browsing sites with illegal content or downloading child pornography.

Employee monitoring can provide proof the company is not at fault. The company may allow its employees a few minutes of internet time per day if they do not abuse the privilege.

Still, some employees will misuse the perk and use large amounts of time online to do things such as bank, shop, chat, or resolve issues that are not related to work.

For employers, this can be costly. Online monitoring helps to ensure that staff does not violate company policies.

At the workplace and in the world as a whole, safety and security are important issues as well. A monitoring program can actually save lives in light of recent workplace incidents and security issues.

Besides the positive aspects of employee monitoring, there is also a negative aspect. Monitoring may cause your employees to feel that you don’t trust them and are “breathing down their necks,” resulting in resentment and discontent. This act may translate into lowered productivity.

Your company could face privacy violations or charges of discrimination if your company accidentally absorbs an employee’s religion, sexual preference, and health problems.

Suppose you plan to use employee monitoring software within your organization to monitor your employees’ computer activity.

In that case, you should be aware of privacy implications and what employees’ factors affect your right to monitor their computer activity. 

It may be necessary to obtain legal permission before monitoring employees in the workplace, depending on the office location and where the employees are working from; their home? Most probably. Consulting a lawyer is the best approach.

Generally, securing the privacy of employees and monitoring employee performance requires transparency.

In addition to informing employees about what data is under surveillance, employers should let them know how and why the data needs protection.

This information is available in workplace monitoring policies, acceptable use policies, or employee handbooks.

Here is what you should do before you begin to monitor your employees.

What you should do before you begin to monitor your employees

Inform the Employee

Employers should monitor their employees’ internet usage only if necessary and only with the knowledge of their employees. Please explain what you’re doing and why you are monitoring your employees if you decide to do so.

Ensure that they understand that the purpose of employee monitoring is not to invade their privacy but rather to ensure a safe, compliant, and productive workplace.

It will help diffuse resentment and encourage cooperation if you are open with your employees. Talk to them about the dangers of utilizing electronic assets improperly. 

Create a Written Policy

Make sure that the staff and employers are aware of the rights and responsibilities concerning Internet usage.

Provide information on how and when employees may use personal time online at work. For email, social media, web browsing, and instant messaging, create acceptable use rules. Tell how you will monitor and dispose of data. Have your employees sign a copy.

Find Appropriate Employment Monitoring Tool

Monitors of computer activity are available on the market in many forms. Use a software program that signals an alert when you engage in risky behavior. You can buy software that would block content that might cause legal problems for your company.  

Will My Employees Know When I Monitor Them?

You may monitor your employees’ computer activity in your workplace in plain sight by implementing the transparent employee monitoring approach. Your team members will know that the employer is monitoring them via: 

  • Monitoring Notifications: Your employees will receive periodic reminders from BrowseReporter that their internet usage and application activities are being monitored.
  • System Tray Display: You can enable this feature in order to make the client visible in the system tray of your employees’ computers.
  • Enable End-User Reports so that your employees can view their computer activity records. Through this feature, they can discover which internet or application usage data they are sharing.

Why Should You Monitor Your Employees’ Browser History? 

Benefits a company gets from monitoring their employees' online activities

Employers typically monitor the internet usage of their employees to figure out if they’re working.

What makes this issue so important? You may not know, but an inappropriate action by an employee can sometimes cost the company thousands of dollars.

If an employee watches unethical online content, e.g., if they download child pornography on their work computer, the company will have to bear the legal consequences of the actions. 

Keeping track of an employee’s internet usage is beneficial for the company. The employees might be spending a lot of their productive office time surfing random websites on the internet.

Decreased employee productivity will cost a company a huge amount of cash. So, watching what your employee is watching on the web, how frequently are they opening non-work-related websites is normal for employers.

Here are the three benefits a company gets from monitoring their employees’ online activities: 

An Increment in Productivity

Monitoring your employees will ultimately result in them being more productive. How? Because when they are aware that their employer is tracking their actions, they will become more focused on their work.

When employees know that their boss can see what website they visited, they will not open any unnecessary sites on the internet.   

When they cut off online distractions that keep them occupied, employees will spend more time doing productive things.

So, when you employ the employee productivity tracking tool, they will disallow employees to access unproductive sites during work hours. Consequently, employees should devote all of their time to work-related tasks.

Increased Accountability

An employer can use an employee monitoring tool to know how their staff is doing during office hours. The employee tracking software helps you monitor your employees’ every action, and you can see how much time the employees spend daily on the assigned tasks.

Also, time tracking software will notify employees when employers are inactive during their office time. Also, these apps will keep records of all the employee activities along with screenshots, productivity calculations, work time, etc. 

Employers will know which employee is spending more time on non-work-related tasks. If your employee is watching too much Facebook, Messenger, or Youtube at work, you will know instantly. Also, you’ll know who is taking longer breaks. 

An employer can identify long-term employees by monitoring their response times.

By doing this, everyone in the organization becomes accountable. Everyone holds the accountability for time management, and you can step in when needed.

Reduced Security Risks

It is also possible for your company to be protected from security threats if you monitor your employees’ online activity. In what way? Monitoring reduces the likelihood of employees accessing unsafe sites and restricted apps.

You should monitor your employees’ internet activity to ensure they do not access illegal or damaging websites or apps. It allows you to monitor who accesses what data and when.

When you track your office devices, you can instantly track the time employees spend on sensitive business documents. Your monitoring reports will allow you to diagnose the problem and find the employee responsible if something goes wrong.

Conclusion

Using employee monitoring apps benefits a company in several ways. Monitoring employees during working hours, watching what they’re working on, tracking the websites they frequently visit and seeing what they are spending most of their time on during work can help boost employee productivity. Businesses always benefit from a more productive workforce. 

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