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Digital.com Survey Reveals 60 Percent of Employers Use Monitoring Software to Track Activities of Remote Workers

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Digital.com, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services, has published findings from a new survey analyzing the use of monitoring software to keep track of remote employee activity. Research experts examined responses from 1,250 employers with some or all employees working from home.

According to the report, 60 percent of employers with employees working from home use monitoring software, with another 17 percent actively considering it. Among tools used to do this, 76 percent of employers use software to track web browsing and application use, and 60 percent use software that captures random screenshots. Additionally, 54 percent of respondents invest in software that blocks certain content and applications, and 44 percent use software that logs keystrokes. Data shows that most companies use these systems with the employees’ knowledge—only 14 percent of employers have not notified their staff about monitoring activities. 

Survey results indicate that employees are not on task as much as an employer might hope. Twenty-seven percent of remote workers spend five or more hours per day on non-work-related activities, while 52 percent of workers spend one to four hours daily away from their workstations or browsing the internet. Only 7% of employers reported that their employees are on task all day. The study confirms that most employees are using company time for personal activities. Employers say that 78 percent of employees visit websites and social media channels for personal use, 60 percent spend time away from workstations, and 52 percent work a second job. 

“Productivity has always been a major hurdle for employers, especially in the service industry where clients are billed hourly,” says Dennis Consorte, Small Business and Startup Marketing Expert. “These studies provide valuable insight that can help companies go beyond monitoring employees’ activities and investigate ways to align goals with performance and emphasize company culture.”

The study also suggests that employers in the advertising and IT industries are more likely to use monitoring tools. Eighty-three percent of employers in the advertising and marketing industry track staff activities using software systems. Computer and information technology and construction businesses represent 77 percent and 71 percent of businesses that monitor employees, respectively. Sixty percent of finance companies, 60 percent of manufacturing firms, and 52 percent of personal care services track staff productivity.  

Most employers say productivity increased after installing tracking technology. Eighty-one percent of respondents saw an increase in productivity. However, 25 percent of employers terminated between one and ten employees, and 21 percent say they fired 51 to 100 employees. Conversely, 9 percent of employers say there was no improvement in productivity after using monitoring software.

Digital.com created and paid for this study, which was administered via the online survey platform Pollfish. On September 13, 2021, the survey was distributed to 1,250 employers across the United States and included a screening question to find appropriate respondents. The study highlights how many companies have installed work monitoring software on their employee’s devices, what they’re looking for, and what the results have been. To access the complete report, please visit https://digital.com/6-in-10-employers-require-monitoring-software-for-remote-workers/

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