Employee monitoring is a great way to keep your company data safe and ensure compliance, accountability, and productivity among your workforce.
However, employee monitoring trends keep changing with changes in technology, work style, and data protection and privacy laws. As a result, every employer should watch key employee monitoring statistics to stay updated on the latest trends.
In this article, we’ll share some insightful employee monitoring statistics and trends. We’ll also highlight the major benefits of employee monitoring and an effective software solution for the same.
This article contains:
(click on the links below to read a specific section)
- Insightful Employee Monitoring Statistics and Trends
- Why Should Companies Monitor Their Employees?
- Time Doctor: An Effective Productivity Monitoring Solution
Let’s get started.
Insightful employee monitoring statistics and trends
Employee monitoring is the set of workplace surveillance systems and practices to keep an eye on the activities of employees.
Businesses usually rely on security cameras to monitor their office premises and surveillance software to track company servers and employee workstations.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, remote employee monitoring software has become an essential part of the business toolkit for many companies.
While a solid monitoring software solution is essential, it’s also important for employers to have a holistic view of the entire monitoring process. It’ll help them tackle privacy concerns and win employee trust.
So here are some interesting stats and trends around employee surveillance to give you deeper insight into why and how you should go about it:
A. The rise of employee monitoring in numbers
Employee monitoring has been on an upward trend since the early 2000s — thanks to the rise of the internet and cloud computing.
With company data moving from physical files and folders to digital ones, monitoring software became essential to secure information from malicious and accidental insider threats.
For example, an American Management Association study found that the percentage of major companies monitoring employees rose from 35% in 1997 to 78% in 2001.
Employee monitoring saw yet another sharp rise during the pandemic induced lockdown. Companies unsure about the remote work trend felt an increasing need to track the activities of their employees working from home. This resulted in a sharp rise in the use of remote monitoring tools.
Let’s check out some insightful findings of various studies and researches tracking the growth and extent of employee monitoring:
- As per an Opinium survey on 2,424 remote employees in the UK, 32% affirmed to being monitored by their employers in October 2021, up from 24% in April 2021.
- The same survey also reported that the number of employees monitored at home using cameras has more than doubled (from 5% to 13%) in the same time period.
- Research by 2021 Top10VPN showed a 54% rise in the demand for employee surveillance software since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.
- A collaborative survey by ExpressVPN and Pollfish revealed that over 78% of the 2000 participating employers track their employees using monitoring software.
- In 2018, 94% of organizations deployed some method of monitoring employees (compared to 42% in 2017), as reported by an Insider Threat report.
Check out useful remote work statistics in 2021 to gain a deeper perspective on these trends.
B. What do companies monitor?
Let’s explore some interesting and insightful trends and stats to highlight what and how do companies monitor their on-site and remote workers:
- The 2018 Insider Threat Report by Crown Research Partners highlights that 44% of the participating employers consider User Activity Monitoring (UAM) as their top solution to counter insider threats.
- A close second is tracking server logs, used by 42% of respondents.
- According to the 2018 Gartner survey on 239 large corporations, 50% gather employees’ biometric data and monitor the contents of employee emails and social media interactions.
- GetApp surveyed 100 businesses to find that 74% of them spend up to 8 hours tracking employee hours every two weeks.
- The study also states that 14% of the companies employed either part-time or full-time employees to handle time tracking for their staff members.
Businesses may have different needs and goals when it comes to monitoring employee activity.
Some of the standard things that companies track include:
- The login credentials employees use to sign in to their work devices (to prevent buddy punching).
- Employee attendance, punch in and punch out times, and GPS location.
- Computer activity during work hours – keystroke logging, internet use, file transfers, etc.
- Time spent on their daily tasks as well as breaks and meal times.
- Applications and websites employees use during work hours.
- All external and internal communications (instant messages, customer chats, emails, phone calls, voice mails, etc.) via the company network.
- Storage and peripheral devices (printers, webcams, flash drives, etc.) connected to employee workstations.
Find out more about computer monitoring using this informative guide.
C. Employee monitoring from employers’ perspective
So it’s evident from the stats above that employers are increasingly monitoring their employees.
But why exactly do they feel the need to monitor their employees?
Here are some eye-opening stats to give you a perspective on why employers choose to track their employees:
- The 2020 Insider Threat Report highlights that 68% of respondents feel vulnerable to insider attacks and affirm that such attacks have become more frequent.
- 63% of the organizations felt that privileged IT users and admins pose the biggest risk, closely followed by regular employees (51%) and contractors or temporary workers (50%)
- The commonly reported damages due to data breaches are operational disruptions (54%), loss of critical data (50%), and damage to brand image (38%).
- The 2020 Cost of Insider Threat Global Report 2020 reported 4,716 insider incidents with an estimated annual average cost of USD 11.45 million, a 31% increase from 2018 (USD 8.76 million).
- 62% of these incidents are caused by employee or contractor negligence.
- Credential thefts are the most common form of a data breach with an estimated annual cost of USD 2.79 million, followed by personal, medical, and bank data.
- Intermedia’s 2017 Data Vulnerability Report states that almost all of the surveyed US workers (99%) admitted to conducting at least one potentially dangerous act that could result in a data breach.
Companies stake sensitive data and risk non-compliance with state laws without an effective monitoring program. It could result in legal actions and further loss of business.
The numbers above speak for themselves and show why employers have no choice but to monitor each worker actively.
Now, let’s look at things from the other side of the table.
D. What employees feel about being monitored
Employee perception about monitoring is usually shaped by how a company executes its program.
It’s natural for employees to have apprehensions about their privacy when there’s a lack of transparency from the employer’s side.
On the other hand, employers who actively engage their staff and educate them about the benefits and usage of monitoring tools manage to win their trust.
Here are some stats that present the employee’s perspective on being monitored:
- Clutch.co surveyed 400 U.S. employees and reported that only 21% believed their company is monitoring them using a software tool.
- 49% of employees said that their company isn’t tracking them, while 13% were unsure.
- Only 22% of employees aged 18-34 years are concerned about their employers having access to personal information and activity from their work computer.
- 72% of respondents say monitoring apps wouldn’t affect their productivity, while 13% said it would increase productivity.
Employers may overlook the importance of employee engagement in building trust and boosting employee morale. Fully engaged employees are more likely to actively come on board with your monitoring program.
Interestingly, you can also use monitoring systems to track employee experience and gauge your team’s mood.
Improve transparency and compliance by developing an employee monitoring policy using this detailed guide.
E. The future of employee monitoring
With the rate at which the use of employee monitoring software is growing, they are bound to see many updates to their capabilities soon.
Let’s explore three advanced technologies that could become standard features in employee tracking software in the future:
1. AI-based behavioral analysis
User behavior analysis has already made its way into many employee monitoring tools.
However, with growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can expect highly capable tools to precisely monitor employee behavior and spot red flags.
For example, a US military-backed project aims to leverage artificial intelligence to detect micro-changes in the behavior of employees with access to sensitive information.
It can predict the risk factor associated with each employee so that an employer can take the necessary precautions. If it lives up to its promise, such a system could soon become a standard feature in employee surveillance and HR software.
2. Employee turnover prediction
Another use case of employee behavior analysis in monitoring software is the ability to predict employee turnover.
It can analyze the general mood of your team and identify unhappy and actively disengaged employees. These are the employees who are more likely to quit the company in the future.
Employers can take proactive steps to retain such employees with this vital information.
With such cutting-edge technologies coming together to shape a super-efficient workplace, the future certainly looks promising.
For now, let’s look at how employee monitoring could help businesses.
Why should companies monitor their employees?
Today, a growing number of companies monitor their employees’ work hours and computer activity, be it on-premise or remotely.
This is, in part, due to the frequent number of data and time theft incidents that even big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and LinkedIn have not been immune to.
Let’s check out how exactly employee monitoring helps companies:
- Boosts Productivity: When monitored, employees tend to stay more productive and avoid indulging in non-work-related tasks during working hours.
- Cost-savings: Monitoring will minimize instances of time-theft, saving you money in payroll and productivity losses.
- Enhances data security: Effective surveillance reduces the risk of insider attacks, keeping your sensitive data and business secrets safe.
- Ensures compliance: With your data safe, staying compliant with privacy laws and standards like ECPA (Electronic Communications Privacy Act), GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), HIPAA, etc., becomes easier.
Understand the relation between worktime and employee well-being through this compilation of useful work hour statistics.
All ready to reap the benefits of effective employee monitoring?
Let’s check out an excellent employee tracking solution you can start using today.
Time Doctor: An effective productivity monitoring solution
Time Doctor is a popular time and productivity tracking software trusted by major companies, like Verizon and Ericsson, and small businesses, like Thrive Market, to manage employee performance.
It offers a ton of monitoring features to track your in-house and remote team, as well as on-contract workers.
With Time Doctor, you can:
- Track employee work hours using either a manual or automatic mode.
- View the time an employee spends idle or doing non-work-related tasks.
- Take screenshots of employee screens at regular intervals to see what they are working on.
- See detailed reports to monitor employee productivity and attendance in real-time.
- Minimize time-theft and financial losses by mapping the actual billable hours to your payroll.
- Track time in popular project management tools using powerful a Chrome extension.
Note: Time Doctor does not log keystrokes. It only checks for keypresses and mouse clicks to determine the idle time. Moreover, screenshots containing personal or sensitive information can be deleted or blurred to protect employee privacy.
Time Doctor has strict privacy and data security policies to protect the confidential company and employee data. The software has advanced security features like encrypted data transfer, email verification, and two-factor authentication.
This way, it offers a reliable and employee-friendly way to kickstart your employee monitoring program with its robust time tracking and productivity management functionality.
Employee monitoring is an effective way to track your team’s adherence to company regulations and improve workplace productivity. It’ll also help you minimize financial losses due to lost productivity and incorrect payrolls while ensuring compliance with privacy laws.
Use the stats and trends shared in this article to gain vital insights into on-premise and remote employee monitoring and boost your surveillance program.
And if you’re looking for the best way to monitor employee productivity, Time Doctor is the tool for you.
So why not sign up for Time Doctor’s free trial to get started today?
Andy is a technology & marketing leader who has delivered award-winning and world-first experiences.