Is it possible to monitor employees in an ethical manner?

Since the outbreak, there appears to have been an increase in employer mistrust all around the world. According to a short survey done in October 2021, about a third of US employees (32%) were aware that their employers had deployed employee monitoring or surveillance equipment to track their day-to-day working activity. In April 2021, the same study reported a lower figure of 24 percent. In fact, in the previous two years, a New Zealand-based provider of employee time-tracking software has recorded a three-fold rise in sales.

With remote working becoming a norm, the urge in employers to track the activity and movement of their employees using such tools has risen. With remote working becoming more common, businesses are increasingly interested in employing such systems to track their employees' activities and movements. Employee activity tracking is not a new trend, within the IT business. After all, for decades, the industry has been tracking and managing scattered workforces. As a result, it's not uncommon for businesses to implement employee-tracking software.
"There is a need to monitor employee behavior during work hours to understand how much time they are spending on other activities," admits Anil Gaur, CHRO of Akums Pharmaceuticals.
"The IT business also deals with moonlighting, which increases the need to monitor employee behavior," says Anand Talwar, former CHRO of ITC Infotech.
As Sharad Sharma, CHRO, Pramerica Life Insurance, correctly points out, there is always a hurdle when it comes to those enabling and supporting tasks engaged in backend transactions whose outcome cannot be quantified. "In the insurance industry, the performance of individuals in the sales or recovery departments can be tracked by their figures, but not of those in the various backend and supporting functions," Sharma maintains.
Because old or present procedures can be manipulated and employees can find loopholes in them, most HR leaders feel that there is a strong need to incorporate innovation into employee monitoring, whether through technology or processes.

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