Can I Monitor My Employees’ Computers?

You can download a free trial of Gecko Computer Monitoring Software here

You may wonder if you can legally monitor your employees’ computers, and the answer is yes. Employers are allowed to monitor their employees’ computers under certain restrictions. Any computers, PDAs or other computer devices that are given to employees can be monitored by employers legally. It is estimated that over 75% of U.S. companies monitor their employees’ activities on the computer, so it is certainly not uncommon.

What types of activities can I monitor? 

You can monitor your employees’ internet activities, instant messaging, typing speed, the length of time they’re on the computer, e-mails, downloads, documents stored on the computer, and other activities. You can screen your employees’ emails for specific keywords, and you can also monitor their keystrokes.

Why should I monitor my employee’s computers? 

You might consider monitoring your employees’ computers if you are worried about time wasting or productivity issues. Websites and social media sites like Facebook can seriously hamper your employees’ productivity and cost you money. Further you might be concerned about your employees viewing objectionable content on work computers which can subject you to legal risks. You may also be concerned about your employees revealing sensitive information about your company to other people and security threats to your company’s computer system. So, there are many reasons why you might monitor your employees’ computers, but you should do it the right way.

Employee monitoring software 

Employee monitoring software is the way to go if you are considering monitoring your employees’ computers, and there are a number of good solutions available. Employee monitoring software is just one part of a complete business IT system protection plan that should also include anti-virus software, malware protection, and company IT policies. Small businesses have a lot of different employee monitoring software options available each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

How you should go about using employee monitoring software 

Once you have decided on a software solution for employee tracking you shouldn’t use it secretly. Your employees should know that they are being monitored when they are using work computer devices, and you should let them know what you are monitoring and why you are doing it. If your employees know they are being monitored they are much more likely to be productive while at work. They will also appreciate you being upfront about your intentions to monitor them rather than surprising them.

Be fair with your employees and check the monitoring reports regularly 

You should check the monitoring reports on a regular basis and check for potential security issues or time wasting. Depending on the type of company culture you have, a bit of entertainment might be allowable during breaks, but it depends on how the company is run. Be fair with your employees and give them warnings for wasting time or other problems. If you catch your employees wasting too much time on games or social media sites you can have a simple sit down with them or send an email reminder which usually corrects the problem. You can also block certain websites like Facebook, YouTube and others using filtering software. Checking the monitoring reports regularly will allow you to follow up and see if your discussions with your employees have made any impact.

You can download a free trial of Gecko Computer Monitoring Software here

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