Employee monitoring – Do we need strict rules?

The boundary between surveillance and snooping is thin, yet firms frequently cross it without realising it. The ramifications for employees are numerous.

Industry analysts believe that keeping tabs on employees in work-related matters is critical to understanding the company's overall growth. Overdoing it, on the other hand, has consequences, particularly in terms of distrust between employers and employees.

“How much is too much? Where should the line be drawn?”Follwing are by experts.

Employers appear to have more authority over their employees as a result of the information technology (IT) boom. While the trend is gaining traction, it is also leaving employees dissatisfied and distrustful. After all, no one wants to be constantly monitored.

Companies feel that strict monitoring will increase the transparency of their employees' performance. However, without the correct policies in place, this frequently ends up being a damp squib. 

How to draw the line and where to draw it The pandemic's mandated remote working culture has sparked a Pandora's box of debates among employees about invasion of privacy. At the same time, businesses are trying to figure out where to draw the line without jeopardising their employees' interests.

Alignment of goals:

Nilesh Kulkarni, CHRO, Bharat Serums & Vaccines (BSV), explains how and where to draw the line, saying, "Every organisation needs a set of rules to guide the effective functioning of the group." To ensure that each member of the group is treated fairly, there must be a desire to make a difference, which boils down to two key elements: transparency and accountability."

He observes that both can thrive in a self-monitored community if each individual is in charge. "In a self-driven culture, employees thrive when individual ambitions are aligned with organisational goals. This is what we want to achieve at BSV."

Efficiency vs. trust:

Which is more important? "With the tremendous increase in remote-hybrid working, employee monitoring has been forced to the centre of all operational choices," says Amar Sinhji, executive director, human resources, Khaitan & Co. Employee monitoring has two dimensions, according to him: operational control and efficiency, as well as trust.

"Some type of surveillance or monitoring is required for operational efficiency and processes; otherwise, the organization's working may become chaotic."

"During this transformation from in-office to remote operations, employers have come to know that, by and large, trust will beget trust," Sinhji says of the other parts of monitoring or keeping tabs on staff. Employees that are given a task or a responsibility and are left to their own devices will usually do it within a certain time range. As a result, there should be no demand for monitoring in order to assess trust."


When it comes to distrust, Sinhji believes that outliers who exploit or abuse this trust should be dealt with separately and placed under surveillance so that their activities may be monitored. Their productivity and time spent on work can be tracked to evaluate their performance, which will benefit the company.

"The level of tapping of the activities it deploys on its people would be determined by the culture of an organisation, depending on the company it is in," Sinhji added.


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