KT images/Getty Images
- About 96% of remote companies use some kind of employee monitoring software, according to a survey.
- Three in four companies have fired employees over data from the monitoring software.
- More than two-thirds of the respondents said employees have quit, citing the surveillance.
Companies still have trust issues about employee productivity, even three years after the COVID-19 pandemic forced workers to work remotely or in a hybrid setting.
About 96% of respondents to a mid-March survey commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com said they use some form of employee monitoring software to ensure that their staff stays productive.
That’s a major increase compared to just 10% before the outbreak, according to the survey published last Friday, which polled 1,000 US business leaders with a primarily remote or hybrid workforce.
Just 5% of those employers who say they monitor their employees said their staff is not aware that they are being surveilled.
“It’s clear from our survey that there are still organizations struggling to manage their workforce post-pandemic,” said Stacie Haller, the chief career advisor at ResumeBuilder.com.
The struggle seems real, with a “surprisingly high percentage” — that’s 37% — requiring their remote employees to be on a live feed all day, per ResumeBuilder.com. Other surveillance methods include monitoring employees’ web browsing and app use, as well as blocking content.
Companies are using this surveillance data to fire staff.
Companies are definitely using the data they obtain from monitoring their staff — about three-quarters of survey respondents told ResumeBuilder.com their companies have fired employees over the data they collected.
But employees are also pushing back. More than two-thirds of companies said in the survey their employees have quit over the surveillance.
“It is not surprising that many employees do not want to feel like big brother is watching them daily when they are good employees and working hard for their organization,” said Haller.
The situation could improve in the future as hybrid work becomes more entrenched, said Haller.
“As managers become more comfortable in managing a remote workforce, and as younger workers become managers and have been working more of their career remotely, software monitoring will hopefully become antiquated and the focus will be on results and not the amount of time worked,” she said.