What the Tech? Is Your Boss Spying on You While You Work from Home?
Working from home sounded pretty good last March when millions of people were sent away from the office at the height of the pandemic. You could do your work and take breaks throughout the day to run errands, do some laundry, maybe even take a nap.
But sensing that managing a workforce that’s spread out and not under the watchful eyes of management sent some companies searching for tools to track their employees. Several tools are widely available online to do just that.
Hubstaff is software that’s installed on the laptop or desktop computer of the remote worker. The bosses back at the office can log onto their own computer and see how much the employee has been working and whether they’re taking too many breaks or even wasting time on websites, videos, and social media.
Hubstaff keeps track of apps they’ve used and the websites they’ve visited. In one example in a Hubstaff ‘how-to’ video, a report showed an employee had worked a total of 30 minutes between 11 AM and noon and spending some of their time using social media.
Time Doctor is similar but it restricts employers from tracking employees without their knowledge if the employees are working on their own computer. Time Doctor does allow an option where the company can spy on employees without their knowledge provided the employee is using a work-issued laptop or computer.
Time Doctor can take screenshots of an employee’s monitor whenever they’re supposed to be working. If the employee spends time watching youTube videos or is spending time on other websites, they’ll get a pop-up message asking if they’re still working on their project. The boss back in the office gets a report each day.
Tsheets is a mobile app by QuickBooks that companies can use to track when employees clock in and clock out and track their location to find out if they’re where they’re supposed to be.
Some people have posted to social media that their boss even requires them to be on camera while they’re on the clock. Most companies are still trying to figure out how to manage employees working from home or working remotely.
The question many have is will those companies continue using the technology even after employees return to the office.