04 November 2021

Teleworking: Can employees be monitored?


Employee performance cannot be measured by remote working and that is why many managers are opting for the OKR (Objective Key Results) methodology to monitor their employees

With the implementation of remote working, department heads are concerned about the performance of their employees. Everyone will be able to see how the establishment of remote working from home affects their performance. 

There are many tools on the market that allow managers to find out what their employees are doing at any given time during the working day (there are tools that allow real-time screenshots of the employee's screen, mouse movements, or the history of pages visited by the employee). All of this with the aim of discovering how each worker spends his or her time. 

This type of surveillance goes beyond the merely objective, since a boss can always be in doubt whether his employees spend all their time in front of the computer, or whether they spend a few minutes doing other activities, such as shopping or exercising. 

Monitoring workers is a practice that has been supported by managers in order to observe and analyse productivity. But, on the other hand, this exercise can lead to a loss of trust. To what extent is it beneficial to the company's atmosphere?

As in many aspects of life, workers may use techniques to evade surveillance, or to disguise the fact that they are working while doing leisure work

So what should a manager or boss do to avoid such situations?

One viable solution is the establishment of regular and constant communication between managers and their workers. Through these conversations, the employee can discuss the work done during the working day, but can also warn his or her manager of the difficulties encountered. 

For example, agile methodologies are a perfect complement to the supervision by managers of all the movements made by their employees. Through them, all workers have a unified calendar, pursuing common objectives, and having a small daily meeting scheduled, preferably at the start of the working day, whereby the tasks to be performed during the day are put on the table, as well as the objectives that are expected to be achieved. 

One of the most relevant methodologies at present is the OKR (Objective Key Results) methodology, whereby both managers and employees set objectives and tasks that they believe are essential to achieve these objectives. In turn, deadlines are set for the completion of these tasks and all the work is monitored through daily and weekly meetings, which serve to observe progress and share impressions so that the different colleagues can collaborate in a coordinated manner.

In this way, managers can monitor the work activity of their employees, but without the need to be intrusive or show a clear lack of trust in them. 

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