An InterGuard e-Book

How to Monitor Employees Working From Home

Ensure Attendance & Productivity with Remote Workers

Pre Covid, Work From Home (“WFH”) was only practiced by 5 million workers, or only 3% of the US workforce of 160 million1. Given the advent of technology including laptops, smartphones, VOIP, Zoom etc, remote work was growing at 15% per year. There is no doubt that most employees appreciate the flexibility to work from home. In fact, over 80% of employees surveyed indicated a strong preference to work from home flexibility of at least 2-3 days per week2.

Studies confirm that remote work of 3-4 days/week result in the highest levels of employee engagement. From the employer point of view, employees working from home results in significant savings of real estate and other costs estimated at over $11k per year per employee. So with all the necessary technology abundantly available, and employee desire and effectiveness in support of remote work, as well as significant cost savings available to employers, why hadn’t it taken off more before Covid? In any case, the forced work from home experiment has now opened many eyes to consider WFH as the new normal. In our opinion, WFH is here to stay as the benefits are too significant to ignore and the issues can be addressed.



Work From Home, The New Normal


CONTENT


CHAPTER 1.

Employees Love Work From Home

Track Employee Computer Activity

It is no surprise that employees are big advocates of remote working. Global Workplace Analytics, a study by Gallup, has estimated the cost of commuting at $2.500-4,000 per year, which is a big hit to after tax income. The time involved in commuting is equally costly, typically 1-2 hours per day, which results in 250-500 hours per year of wasted time. Just as important is the flexibility to work on their schedule. That said, employees still like working in the office and indicate an interest to work at home 2-3 days per week. Employees value this flexibility so much that this benefit is valued over any other and over 30% of them would consider changing jobs or taking a paycut.

CHAPTER 2.

Employers Love Work From Home

Monitor Employees Computer Remotely

Global Workplace Analytics estimates that employers save over $11k/year per employee with working from home through reduced real estate costs, lower employee turnover which results in lower recruiting and training costs3. In addition, Gallup’s State of the American Workplace study indicates that employees are optimally engaged when working remote 3 days per week. In addition, providing remote workers flexibility is sure to be an important recruitment and retention tool for attracting the best talent pool.

CHAPTER 3.

Current Tech Enabling Work From Home

Monitor Internet Usage Remotely

The emergence of high speed internet/ WiFi everywhere along with emergence of communication technology has effectively marginalized the benefits of the work office. With all these new tools easily available, there are no longer any technical challenges with monitoring remote workers.   1. Abundance of High speed Internet /WiFi 2. Laptops/smartphones/VPN 3. VOIP (work phone via your cellphone/PC) 4. IM chat (allows for work collaboration) 5. Video conferencing (allows for meetings)

CHAPTER 4.

Work From Home Concerns

How to Monitor Employees That Work Remote

That said, there are legitimate reasons why WFH was not more adopted on a widespread basis. These include, but are not limited to:  
  1. Culture – company culture is an important element in creating loyalty and motivating staff. Culture is hard to do without some level of face to face contact.
  2. Collaboration – projects require inter-departmental cooperation and collaboration, which typically involves multiple group meetings.
  3. Resistance to Change – “the office” has been a mainstay of corporate culture for generations.
  4. Data security – firewalls and other network security tools have been architected around the notion that data is centralized on company servers and primarily available from inside the corporate network.
  5. Lost visibility of employee attendance and productivity – coming to the office allowed managers to easily enforce work day hours and staff focus on company business.
Employee Monitoring - chapter 6

CHAPTER 5.

Work From Home Adopted en Masse

Tracking Employee Computer Activity

Covid necessitated the widespread adoption of working from home. In April 2020, approx. 40% of the US workforce worked from home4. The primary exceptions were for essential businesses or businesses that were forced to close on a temporary basis. The question now is, will we all return back to the office once we are past Covid, or is remote work here to stay? Many employees are now beginning to ask if they can continue working at home even after the restrictions are lifted. Enterprises are realizing the potential benefits and considering how to make this a reality.  Many leading tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc have already announced that working from home will become the norm. This sea change notwithstanding, the above concerns have not vanished and organizations need to consider solutions to each of these if they are to optimize the benefits and mitigate the risks of WFH.
Employee Monitoring - remote employee

CHAPTER 6.

Work From Home Solutions

How to Monitor Employees Computer

  1. Culture – most millennials now primarily live virtually, and thus would easily adapt.
  2. Collaboration – chat programs, voip and video conferencing tools are great and inexpensive.
  3. Resistance to Change – change is inevitable
  4. Security – has migrated from the perimeter to the endpoint
  5. Lost visibility of employee attendance and productivity – tech
  6. tools such as user activity monitoring software (employee monitoring software) can provide necessary visibility


Use of Employee Monitoring Software

InterGuard employee monitoring software can be remotely deployed across all PCs or virtual server environments. Once deployed, the software records all end user PC activity and then sends that data simultaneously to archive for review and through intelligence layers where the data is analyzed and key metrics are extracted for managerial review. Key metrics include:
  1. Hours logged in
  2. Active time
  3. Productive vs unproductive time
If needed, the archive includes all recorded data including emails, IMs, websites, file/document tracking and screenshots.

Privacy vs monitoring debate

Some employees have expressed concern over the potential invasion of privacy. There can be no debate over an employers right to confirm employee attendance and productivity, even if the employees are working from home. That said, it is advised that employers consider providing notice to employees, through the use of an “acceptable use policy”, that the provided PC is a company asset that should only be used for conducting company business. In addition, InterGuard provides the option to only record PC activity during work hours.
1 - Global Workforce Analytics’ analysis of 2018 American Community Service Data
2 - Global Workplace Analytics’ observation of clients and case studies, 2020
3 - Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis of BLS Data
4 - Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis of BLS Data
DEMO VIDEO