What Is Employee Monitoring Software and How Can You Use It

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Computers and other networked devices have become commonplace in almost every workplace. They are a fantastic tool for improving efficiency and getting the job done but they can have their drawbacks. Time wasting at work has reached an all-time high and internet usage can be held responsible. It’s not uncommon for employees to deal with personal emails, update their social networks or look at even more unsavory sites at work. Employee monitoring software is one of the ways to get this sort of behavior under control. The following are some of the functions it can provide.

 

Employee Monitoring Software and How Can You Use It

 

Logging

Employee monitoring software can be used to log almost any computer-based activity. First and foremost is the ability to track the websites your employees are visiting. This will allow you to quickly get an idea of where time is being wasted and allow you to take action to prevent it. It may be that you restrict access to certain sites or simply warn employees against using them during work time. If you notice anyone looking at particularly unsavory sites you can take quick action to avoid embarrassment to the company.

 
In addition to monitoring and logging internet usage you can also keep track of what applications employees are working in. If a particular employee is expected to spend the day working with spreadsheets you will be able to see if they at the very least have the correct application open. If you see games like solitaire or minesweeper open you know you have a time waster on your hands.

 

Keystroke Recording

If you want to find out exactly what your employees are doing, or more specifically typing, you can record their keystrokes. This can be done with either standalone software, broader monitoring software or even hardware options. Keystroke recording software can be installed on a USB drive that can be inserted into a computer at the beginning of the day and retrieved later on with the log files stored on the drive.

 

Attention Checking

If your employees are expected to spend all or the majority of their time working on the computer you can have a message pop up on their computer to check they are paying attention. If they are doing as they should be, they should close the message almost immediately.

 

Real-time Monitoring

You can take employee monitoring one step further than looking at what they’ve been doing after the fact. There are many software options available that allow you to watch what employees are doing in real time. This could be done in a number of ways such as taking screenshots of their computer at regular intervals, viewing a list of open applications at any given time or even seeing their screen live.

 
This kind of real-time monitoring allows for action to be taken very quickly where needed. As we all know, there are plenty of distasteful websites out there that could make other employees feel uncomfortable if they witness someone viewing them or potentially lose you work if a prospective client was to be in the office.

 

Who Should Use It and How?

It is really down to the particular needs of you and your business whether you use employee monitoring software. If you suspect your employees of wasting time or doing things they shouldn’t then it can be a great way to prove or disprove your suspicions. Additionally, if it is used widely in your business and your employees are made aware of this from the start, it can act as a strong deterrent against unwanted activity.