There is no chance of reversing the trend, with 45% of full-time employees still working remotely as of September 2021. The option to work from home is appealing to many people. There is no wasted time spent on travel. They are free to multitask in the absence of a supervisor. They can relax in pajamas all day long without worrying about what to wear to the office or what to talk about at the water cooler.

Workers welcome the improvements, but employers worry about the security of their remote personnel. People are using their personal laptops to complete company work outside of normal business hours, which raises concerns about theft, misuse of company resources, and other misconduct.

This is why many businesses today use employee monitoring software, also known as “bossware”. However, human resources departments, managers, and executives must take the right approach to employee monitoring. Unfortunately, a successful implementation is often thwarted by sloppy planning, muddled communication, and unrealistic goals.

Don’t Fight the New Timetable; Instead, Adapt to It

The traditional “9-to-5” workday typically doesn’t apply to a remote or mixed workforce. People work much more fluidly today than they did even three years ago, unless they have specific hours where they need to be ready to answer phones, like a call center representative. The “6-7, 10-4, 7-9” schedule, for example, allows for time off between shifts so that workers can eat, drive their children to school, and get some exercise.

Here’s some good news: remote workers tend to crank out more work each hour. That’s not anything to ignore. As long as it doesn’t affect productivity as a whole, letting employees establish their own hours can encourage them to remain loyal to the organization.

Employee monitoring software for small businesses should conform to this pattern rather than fight it. The simplest way for a manager to tell if an employee is working unusual hours is to keep an eye on their schedule over time rather than comparing it to the typical 9 to 5. There’s no need to worry if an employee regularly disappears for three hours in the afternoon, only to return later and finish the day. But if they cease using the computer in the evenings, that’s cause for concern.

Alerts Should Be Detailed

A management may become concerned if they are notified that an employee spends all day on Amazon. If they already have an Amazon Music subscription, though, that notification is pointless.

In order to be effective, notifications need to be narrow in scope. To begin, the keywords should have a high degree of specificity. Attempts to identify workers who are actively seeking new employment while on the clock often run into difficulties. The term “resume” is not just heard during job interviews, but also when current workers are tasked with filling open positions within their own departments. It’s also typical to omit the accent while typing it. When someone types “resume,” they may be referring to the act of resuming something, or they may be referring to the word “resume.”

Be as precise as possible. Words like “interview,” for instance, may help identify potential competitors in a given business. Additionally, managers should only focus on the most critical warnings. For a group dealing with confidential information, the most crucial part would be correctly marking anything that could point to data theft. Then, when an alert is triggered, managers will pay attention to it and be able to take appropriate action.