70+ Employee Monitoring Statistics Companies Need to Know

Employee monitoring statistics that companies need to know

Considering monitoring employees in the workplace? These employee monitoring statistics provide an overview of how popular employee monitoring is, the data that companies collect, and why employers monitor their employees.

Further Reading:

Top 5 Employee Monitoring Statistics of 2022

  1. Employee surveillance software demand shot up to 58% since the pandemic started (Top10VPN Survey)
  2. 1 in 3 employees have used their work computer for purposes that they’d find embarrassing should their employer find out (ExpressVPN Survey)
  3. When a group of Canadian employees were asked by Capterra what the benefits of employee monitoring was:
    1. 39% said it gave their employers more insight into daily business operations
    2. 38% said it can ensure staff are never underpaid
    3. 37% said it allowed mistakes to be caught before they can escalate
    4. 35% said it gave employers greater visibility into hight and low work performers
    5. 34% said it allowed employers to help them work more efficiently during work hours
  4. 60% of companies with employees who work remotely are using monitoring software to track employee productivity and activity. Another 17% are considering it.(Digital.com Survey)
  5. 92% of workers are open to the collection of data on them and their work, but only if it improves their performance or well-being or provides other personal benefits (Accenture Survey of C-suite Executives)

How Common is Employee Monitoring?

“No matter how you feel about it, employers that don’t monitor will become fewer and fewer, not to nail employees, but because monitoring increasingly makes business sense.”

Manny Avramidis, president and CEO, the American Management Association

Digital forms of employee monitoring accelerated significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the rise in remote work. For managers of newly remote teams the use of a remote employee monitoring program has been essential to ensure workplace productivity and data security while their employees work from home.

Companies offering workplace surveillance technologies such as CurrentWare have experienced a sustained surge in demand from employers through the pandemic. CurrentWare alone saw a 130% increase in queries for our employee monitoring software during Q1/Q2 2020. 

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
More workers are reporting monitoring of staff devices (24% to 20%) and monitoring of phone calls (14% to 11%) compared to 20202022Trades Union Congress Survey
78% of employers report using employee monitoring software to track employee performance and/or online activity. 90% actively track time spent by employees doing work vs. other activities unrelated to work2021ExpressVPN Survey
Workplace monitoring was quite common before the pandemic: 78% of respondents said their company used at least one form of monitoring from a list of 12 options.2021Social Science Research Council’s Survey
60% of companies with employees who work remotely are using employee monitoring software to track employee activity and monitor employee productivity. Another 17% are considering it.2021Digital.com Survey
3 in 4 bosses and/or executives are surveilling staff in some way2021ExpressVPN Survey
Of the 69% of small business leaders at companies that monitor their employees, 76% say their company has implemented at least one employee monitoring tool specifically during the pandemic2021GetApp Survey
The use of employee monitoring software is most prevalent in advertising and marketing (83%), computer and information technology (77%), construction (71%), business and finance (60%), manufacturing (60%), and personal care services (52%).2021Digital.com Survey
59% of employers say they’re very or somewhat likely to implement monitoring software in the future2021ExpressVPN Survey
35% of Canadian employees surveyed work in a company that uses at least one employee monitoring tool – 28% of whom have been using them since before the pandemic and 7% whose employers implemented these tools after the arrival of COVID-19.2020Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
81% of employers in Canada are using tools to track employee attendance2020Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
28% of employees agree monitoring and surveillance at work has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic– and young workers are particularly likely to agree (36% of 18–34-year-old)2020Trades Union Congress Survey
There has been a notable increase in workers reporting surveillance and monitoring—60% in 2021 compared to 53% in 20202020Trades Union Congress Survey
The following sectors have the greatest proportion of workers reporting surveillance:
– financial services (74%)- wholesale and retail (73%)- utilities (73%)
2020Trades Union Congress Survey
47% of the companies are deploying employee monitoring and surveillance tools to prevent insider threats2020Ponemon Institute Report
49% of employees say their company does not use employee monitoring software to track their work2020Clutch.co Survey
Employee surveillance software demand shot up to 58% since the pandemic started2020Top10VPN Survey
46% of businesses have implemented, or plan to implement, assessments to monitor employee health and wellbeing2020Skillcast Decision Makers Survey
20% of firms say that they have implemented or are planning to implement online software to monitor remotely working employees2020Skillcast Decision Makers Survey
55% of respondents from the tech industry answered that their companies have not adopted new software to monitor employees working from home (WFH) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 20202020Statista Survey
Gartner surveys reveal that more than 50% of the organizations are using some kind of nontraditional monitoring techniques in 2018 – an increase of 30% as compared to 20152018Gartner Survey
94% of organizations deploy some method of monitoring users and 93% monitor access to sensitive data2018Insider Threat 2018 Report – Crowd Research Partners
Only 9% of IT pros said their organization doesn’t monitor their employees at all2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot

What Do Companies Monitor?

There are several types of employee monitoring systems that employers can use depending on their goals. These employee monitoring statistics highlight the most common data points that employers collect using user activity monitoring tools.

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
More workers are reporting monitoring of staff devices (24% to 20%) and monitoring of phone calls (14% to 11%) compared to 20202022Trades Union Congress Survey
Employers are primarily tracking their employees’ habits by using software that monitors web browsing and application use (76%).

Other popular monitoring tools that employers are using include:
Software that captures random screenshots (60%)
Software that blocks content and applications (54%
Software that logs keystrokes (44%).
2021Digital.com Survey
Monitoring time and attendance (61.4%), work email (40.5%), physical location (32.9%), and network access (28.9%) were the most common forms of monitoring reported2021Social Science Research Council’s Survey
The top reason why employers require monitoring software is to better understand how employees are spending their time (79%). Employers also want to confirm employees are working a full day (65%), and ensure they aren’t using work equipment for personal use (50%)2021Digital.com Survey
What do employers monitor?

● 66% monitor Websites visited / time spent on various websites

● 53% monitor Apps used / time spent on apps

● 53% monitor Real-time screen monitoring

● 46% monitor Active work hours/log times

● 33% monitor Periodic screen capture

● 31% monitor Productive vs. unproductive hours logged

● 30% monitor Chats / messaging logs

● 27% monitor access to computer files

● 23% monitor Inbound and outbound emails

● 22% monitor transcribed calls
2021ExpressVPN Survey
When IT pros were asked what their company monitors:

● 55% monitor employee emails

● 51% monitor online browsing behavior

● 29% monitor media streaming and file transfers

● 24% monitor application usage

● 22% keep an eye on instant messages

● 21% track phone calls and voicemails

● 19% watch social media activity

● 3% actively monitor SMS text messages
2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot
78% of companies that monitor their workforce use web filtering and monitoring software, 39% use security cameras, and 26% use data loss prevention software.2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot
Computer monitoring takes many forms:

● 45% of employers track content, keystrokes, and time spent on the keyboard

● 43% store and review computer files

● 12% monitor the blogosphere to see what is being written about the company

● 10% monitor social networking sites

● Of the 43% of companies that monitor e-mail, 73% use technology tools to automatically monitor e-mail and 40% assign an individual to manually read and review e-mail
20072007 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey” from American Management Association (AMA) and the ePolicy Institute

Why Do Employers Monitor Their Employees?

Thanks for checking out the latest CurrentWare Video. In this video, we’re going to cover the reasons why you should monitor employee computer activity.

If you like this or other videos we’ve produced, hit the subscribe button below. Stay tuned to the end to learn how to get a free trial of all of the software I demo today.

Employee monitoring involves understanding how your employees are using company provided technology during work hours. There are five main benefits and considerations to employee monitoring that we will cover today:

  1. Employee Productivity management
  2. Addressing inappropriate technology usage, legal liability, and compliance
  3. Managing cybersecurity and data loss prevention
  4. Understanding how remote workers / out of office users are engaging with technology
  5. Understanding bandwidth usage and limiting exposure and costs 

So let’s start off with how monitoring can help employee productivity. 

44% of employees admit to being distracted by the internet at work, and employees in the US have admitted to wasting 1-2 hours a day browsing the internet. 

Employees that know they’re being monitored will avoid excessive personal usage of the internet and computer applications. In addition, in the event an employee is underperforming, employee monitoring reports on their computer activity can be used to help the employee understand their actions and enhance their productivity.

The second important reason to monitor activity is to address inappropriate internet usage & avoid legal liability. 

As compliance requirements increase for various businesses, industries & jurisdictions, employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are complying with regulations such as HIPAA, CCPA, CIPAA and GDPR. 

By enabling computer monitoring, you can ensure that your staff are complying with these requirements. In addition, by monitoring & setting alerts, you can instantly be notified if employees are visiting inappropriate websites such as pornography, adult or other websites.

The third reason to monitor computer activity is for cybersecurity purposes & to prevent data loss.

By knowing which websites an employee is visiting, which files are being downloaded or shared, and which external devices and endpoints are being used, company administrators can manage cyber security risks and data loss prevention efforts. 

Data breaches and associated risks can cost businesses millions of dollars in damages along with reputational risk, so being aware of these risks and monitoring them can provide significant benefits for every organization. In addition, by using alerts, and setting up risk profiles for users, you can audit activities and groups for questionable employee behavior.

Due to Covid-19, the year 2020 has seen a significant shift to remote work for various companies and organizations. This brings us to our 4th reason to monitor an employee’s computer usage: remote workforce management. 

52% of CIOs surveyed suspect that one or more of their mobile workers have been hacked or caused a mobile security issue in the last 12 months. Employee monitoring software can be used to monitor for high-risk activity and verify that employee activity on company networks is legitimate. 

The final reason to monitor employees is for bandwidth management purposes. With CurrentWare’s BrowseReporter tool, you can determine who is hogging bandwidth by streaming videos and uploading/downloading excessively large files. 

Employees who are hogging bandwidth can slow down the entire network, negatively affecting the productivity of other employees and reducing the performance of business critical operations.

That’s it for this video. If you have any thoughts on this video or other reasons why computers should be monitored, feel free to comment below. 

If you’d like to give any of CurrentWare’s computer and device monitoring solutions a try, please check out our free trial at currentware.com/download or get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help!

Note: The above video showcases a legacy user interface for BrowseReporter. To see the most up-to-date features and interface please visit the BrowseReporter product page

Employee monitoring tools are common among major companies and small businesses alike. While the uses for these tools vary, most employers will monitor their employees for the following reasons:

  • Data Protection: Malicious and negligent insider threats can lead to devastating data breaches. Employers protect sensitive data against these threats by monitoring the company network for high-risk or anomalous behavior.
  • Improve Workplace Productivity: Many employees spend some amount of business hours on their social media accounts and other non-work tasks. While a manageable degree of “cyberloafing” can actually help increase productivity, it’s possible to go overboard. Employers will measure productivity to determine if productivity losses are partly the result of excessive distractions.
  • Project Management: Time tracking software provides project managers with important historical data that they can use to estimate future projects and ensure that their current projects are on track.
  • Time Tracking: Many employers are required to track the hours worked by their employees. Employee tracking software helps verify active hours of in-office and remote workers to ensure they are compliant with state laws. 
Spiceworks graph - top reasons IT pros monitor employees on corporate networks
Source: Spiceworks

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
When a group of Canadian employees were asked what the benefits of employee monitoring were:

● 39% said it gave their employers more insight into daily business operations

● 38% said it can ensure staff are never underpaid

● 37% said it allowed mistakes to be caught before they can escalate

● 35% said it gave employers greater visibility into hight and low work performers

● 34% said it allowed employers to help them work more efficiently during work hours
2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
When a group of Canadian employees were asked why they think their employers used monitoring tools:47% believed it was used to improve productivity25% believed it was to verify employees worked their exact hours13% believed it was to track their workload2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
81% of companies that implemented monitoring software saw an increase in employee productivity2021Digital.com Survey
52% of small business leaders say the primary goal for monitoring employees is monitoring productivity2021GetApp Survey
Among employees whose activity is being monitored, 53% are spending 3 or more hours per day on non-work activities2021Digital.com Survey
78% of employees browse social media and other non-work websites during work hours2021Digital.com Survey
52% of employers have caught an employee working a second job while on the clock thanks to employee monitoring software. 60% detected employee absences from workstations.2021Digital.com Survey
39% of construction employees, 32% of employees in advertising and marketing, 29% of business and finance workers, and 28% of IT employees spend 5 or more hours per day on non-work activities.2021Digital.com Survey
41% of employees admit their recorded work calls have evidence that could get them fired. Meanwhile, 37% of employers say they have used stored recordings for firings2021ExpressVPN Survey
88% of employers terminated workers based on what they saw after implementing monitoring software2021Digital.com Survey
46% of employers say they’ve terminated an employee based on information collected related to their remote work2021ExpressVPN Survey
73% of employers say stored recordings of staff’s calls, emails, or messages have informed an employee’s performance reviews2021ExpressVPN Survey
49% of employees pretend to be online while actually doing non-work activities2021ExpressVPN Survey
68% of respondents feel vulnerable to insider attacks and affirm that such attacks have become more frequent.20202020 Insider Threat Report – Cybersecurity Insiders
Remote employee managers are most concerned about reduced employee productivity (82%), reduced employee focus (82%), lower employee engagement and satisfaction (81%), and whether their remote employees are getting their work done (80%).2019OwlLabs State of Remote Work Reports 2019
The top reasons why IT departments monitor employees:

● 78% monitor to protect against malware and phishing scams

● 68% monitor to prevent unacceptable user behavior

● 67% monitor to prevent users from visiting inappropriate websites

● 61% avoid legal issues and comply with regulations

● 56% monitor to prevent leakage of sensitive corporate data

● 48% protecting sensitive customer information
2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot
99% of office workers commit actions that dramatically increase the likelihood of a workplace data breach2017Intermedia’s 2017 Data Vulnerability Report

Workplace Privacy Statistics

Employee monitoring is an excellent tool for understanding how your workforce operates.

Unfortunately a history of overly-invasive deployments has caused serious concerns among employees, like:

Is my employer spying on me?

They’re just doing this to find an excuse to fire me

If they’re monitoring what I do at work, they obviously don’t trust me

This is not what you want your employees to feel. 

In this video I’m going to guide you through the best practices for monitoring employees so you can avoid these mistakes and concerns from your employees

Hello and welcome to the CurrentWare YouTube channel. 

My name is Neel Lukka and I am the managing director here at CurrentWare.

After watching this video you can learn more about this topic by reading our new white paper “Employee Monitoring: Best practices for balancing productivity, security and privacy”

You can find the link for that in the description below.

Before we start, I just want to give a quick disclaimer here. 

I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. These tips are for informational purposes only. If you want to use employee monitoring software in your company be sure to consult with a legal professional first.

Alright, let’s jump in

First up is the very best tip I can give you.

If you want to succeed, you have to let your employees know that they are being monitored.

Employees that do not know if they are being monitored, why they are being monitored, and how they are being monitored are more likely to have negative reactions to being monitored

such as

Having higher rates of stress and anxiety

Being less likely to accept being monitored

And, ironically, becoming less productive

That’s not to say that transparency is going to negate each and every concern that your employees may have.

But if you start with transparency from the very beginning you have a far better chance of proving to your employees that these tools aren’t being used to spy on them. 

By being transparent you’re also giving the chance to hear about their concerns from the start. This lets you work with them to make an employee monitoring strategy that is fair and minimally invasive.

Here are 4 transparency boosting tips:

Involve a representative sample of employees when you start planning your goals and the metrics you want to capture

Tell your employees what metrics are being captured, how they’ll be used, and what is being used to capture them

Have your staff read and sign policies that disclose your intended use of the employee monitoring software

and finally, give them access to their own data so they can see exactly what’s being captured. They can even use this data to manage their own productivity, which is a major bonus

The second tip I have for you is don’t use employee monitoring to micromanage

One of the reasons that monitoring can be perceived negatively is that it feels like it’s being used to punish employees. They worry that it’s the software equivalent of a micromanaging boss staring over their shoulder while they work, just waiting for them to slip up.

Some employers do monitor internet use to make sure employees aren’t getting carried away, but did you know that so-called “unproductive” internet browsing has actually been found to have a positive impact on productivity?

It’s true! But only if that browsing doesn’t take up more than 12% of their work time.

Employees feel far better about being monitored when they’re given the autonomy to self-manage first. Managers can step in if things are getting carried away or if their employees are visiting clearly inappropriate websites.

The third and final tip I have for you today is to not monitor more than you have to.

Think about it this way – if I told you that I wanted to make sure that employee’s weren’t visiting not safe for work websites, you’d think I was crazy for asking for a direct feed into their webcams. 

The bottom line is this: 

If you can meet your company’s goals with a less invasive method of monitoring, do it that way.

For example, if you want some backup for your acceptable use policies you can use internet monitoring software to see what sites are being visited. 

But there’s no need to track individual keystrokes

Or maybe you want to protect data from being stolen. You can monitor the flow of data without recording audio clips of private conversations

Finally, maybe you want to track the work habits of employees that are working remotely or from home. Give them a company-provided device rather than monitoring their personal computers

That’s it for now. 

If you want learn more, check out our new white paper “Employee Monitoring: Best practices for balancing productivity, security and privacy”

You can find the link for that in the description below.

If you’d like to try out employee monitoring in your company, visit CurrentWare.com/Download for a free trial of BrowseReporter, our computer monitoring software.

And as always stay tuned to our YouTube channel for more videos about employee monitoring, cyber security, and CurrentWare’s workforce management software.

When it comes to being monitored in the workplace many employees have privacy concerns. While many employers expect their employees to only use workplace technology for work purposes, many employees will spend their downtime and lunch breaks taking care of personal tasks.

Monitoring apps can collect potentially sensitive data:

  • Keystroke logging devices can capture sensitive electronic communication/Internal communications and passwords
  • Productivity software can be used to micromanage or unfairly target employees
  • Employers with remote teams may require that remote employees install monitoring software on their personal devices, which may collect data that is highly personal
  • In the event of a data breach an employee’s data may be misused by bad actors

When implementing user activity monitoring solutions employers must have adequate administrative and technical safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality and fair use of employee data.

FREE WHITE PAPER

Best Practices for Monitoring Employees

In today's privacy-conscious world employers need to monitor employees in a way that is transparent, minimally invasive, and respectful of employee privacy

Read this white paper to learn the best practices for monitoring employees in the workplace.

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
When asked if they thought their company would violate privacy laws to monitor their work, most (60%) believed their employers would respect the laws. A quarter (26%) thought their company might monitor more than they should in some exceptional cases, while only 14% thought their employers would break privacy laws to monitor all employees.2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
Outside of those who’d signed consent agreements, the following levels of information were reportedly provided by employers to employees being monitored:
24% were verbally informed23% were informed via email16% were not informed at all
2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
Eight in ten (82%) workers now support a legal requirement to consult before introducing monitoring (compared to 75% in 2020)2022Trades Union Congress Survey
Eight in 10 (77%) workers support no monitoring outside working hours, suggesting strong support for a right to disconnect (compared to 72% in 2020)2022Trades Union Congress Survey
97% of small business leaders at the monitoring companies say employees are aware they are being monitored2021GetApp Survey
1 in 3 employees have used their work computer for purposes that they’d find embarrassing should their employer find out2021ExpressVPN Survey
86% of companies using employee monitoring software have informed their employees—14% have not.2021Digital.com Survey
80% of companies have a written privacy policy that informs users they could be monitored while using corporate networks, devices, and services. Only 11% of companies do not have a privacy policy in place to inform users of monitoring2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot
Over 80% of employers disclose their monitoring practices to employees2008Journal of Social Sciences Publication

How Do Employees Feel About Employee Monitoring?

When implementing monitoring tools it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of employee monitoring.

While major companies understand the value of employee monitoring software, not every employee will agree that monitoring tools will be beneficial. 

Employee sentiment ranges from indifference to concerns that employers will focus too much on a minor amount of lost productivity, resulting in higher stress.

These employee monitoring statistics reveal what employees think about employee monitoring.

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
Most employees surveyed (65%) don’t believe that being monitored would have any impact on the way they work, though 35% disagree (with 16% who think it would make them work harder and 19% who think it would make them work less hard).2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
65% of Canadian employees said the implementation of monitoring tools had no perceived effect on the quality of their work environment.2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
40% of survey-takers asked to use monitoring software in their workplace accepted it because they felt OK with it, 23% said they felt insecure about not accepting it and a further 18% admit to accepting it out of pressure.2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
When a group of Canadian employees was asked what the benefits of employee monitoring were:

● 39% said it gave their employers more insight into daily business operations

● 38% said it can ensure staff are never underpaid

● 37% said it allowed mistakes to be caught before they can escalate

● 35% said it gave employers greater visibility into high and low work performers

● 34% said it allowed employers to help them work more efficiently during work hours
2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
When a group of Canadian employees were asked why they think their employers used monitoring tools:

● 47% believed it was used to improve productivity

● 25% believed it was to verify employees worked their exact hours

● 13% believed it was to track their workload
2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
When asked if they thought their company would violate privacy laws to monitor their work, most (60%) believed their employers would respect the laws. A quarter (26%) thought their company might monitor more than they should in some exceptional cases, while only 14% thought their employers would break privacy laws to monitor all employees.2022Capterra Canada Workplace Surveillance Survey
Eight in ten (82%) workers now support a legal requirement to consult before introducing monitoring (compared to 75% in 2020)2022Trades Union Congress Survey
Eight in 10 (77%) workers support no monitoring outside working hours, suggesting strong support for a right to disconnect (compared to 72% in 2020)2022Trades Union Congress Survey
1 in 6 employees weren’t aware it was possible for employers to monitor their communication and/or online activities2021ExpressVPN Survey
1 in 3 employees have used their work computer for purposes that they’d find embarrassing should their employer find out2021ExpressVPN Survey
Only 22% of 18- to 34-year-old employees are concerned about their employers having access to personal information and activity from their work computer2020Clutch.co Survey
72% of workers say their productivity would not be affected if their company used employee monitoring software2020Clutch.co Survey
60% of employees say that unless carefully regulated, using technology to make decisions about people at work could increase unfair treatment in the workplace2020Trade Union Congress Survey
64% of employees said that recent scandals over the misuse of data make them concerned that their employee data might be at risk2019Accenture Survey of C-suite Executives
92% of workers are open to the collection of data on them and their work, but only if it improves their performance or well-being or provides other personal benefits2019Accenture Survey of C-suite Executives
Gartner survey found that in 2018, 30% of employees were comfortable with their employer monitoring their email, compared to only 10% of employees in 20152018Gartner Survey
By a two-to-one margin (54% to 24%) a majority of Americans would find the installation of surveillance cameras and corresponding retention of data to be acceptable, while one-fifth (21%) of adults say their consideration of this tradeoff would depend on the circumstances2016Pew Research Center Survey

Other Employee Monitoring Statistics

Employee Monitoring StatisticYearSource
The employee monitoring solution market estimated to reach up to $6.84 billion by 20282021Market Research Future
41% of employees admit their recorded work calls have evidence that could get them fired. Meanwhile, 37% of employers say they have used stored recordings for firings2021ExpressVPN Survey
88% of employers terminated workers based on what they saw after implementing monitoring software2021Digital.com Survey
46% of employers say they’ve terminated an employee based on information collected related to their remote work2021ExpressVPN Survey
73% of employers say stored recordings of staff’s calls, emails, or messages have informed an employee’s performance reviews2021ExpressVPN Survey
The global Remote Employee Monitoring Software Market is forecasted to reach USD 1,396.2 Million by 20272020GlobeNewsWire Report
8 in 10 developers of the most in-demand employee surveillance software incentivize long-term use by offering annual price incentives and lifetime purchasing options2020Top10VPN Survey
Most Common Employee Behaviors Discovered by Monitoring Tools:

● 77% of IT pros said they’ve found users streaming non work-related content
● 76% encountered employees visiting malicious websites
● 67% have found users are engaging in excessive social media usage
● 56% discovered users viewing inappropriate content
● 50% caught employees using unlicensed software or unapproved cloud services
● 40% discovered employees externally sharing sensitive company data
● 30% caught users running bandwidth-hogging and legally questionable torrents.
● 27% observed employees engaging in illegal activities.
2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot
In 80% of cases the IT department is the most involved in monitoring employees on corporate networks2017Spiceworks Workplace Surveillance Data Snapshot

Employee Monitoring FAQ

  1. What Software Do Companies Use To Monitor Employees?

    Companies use a variety of digital tools and methods to monitor their employees. These range from employee monitoring software tools to call center monitoring platforms and even mobile apps that help track an employee’s location for fleet tracking.

  2. Is It Legal to Track Employees?

    The legality of employee monitoring varies based on jurisdiction and collective bargaining agreements. There are various state laws and federal laws such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and The California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020 (CPRA) that regulate an employer’s right to monitor their employees.

    When considering the use of employee monitoring tools it’s essential to first consult legal counsel and implement an employee privacy policy that clearly discloses what is being montored, how the data is collected, how it will be used, and how it will be protected.

    According to Workplace Fairness, a California-based non-profit focusing on employee rights, employers can legally monitor nearly everything an employee does at work as long as there is a legitimate business interest that doesn’t outweigh the privacy impacts on the employee.

  3. Can Employers Use Remote Employee Monitoring Software to Track Work-From-Home Teams?


    Monitoring employees who work from home is a common practice among businesses that want to ensure the productivity and security of their hybrid and remote workers. In the majority of cases, workers must be notified in advance that their technology usage will be tracked.

    The monitoring software used to manage remote workers will track a number of activities including internet browsing (social media browsing, search history, active/idle time), software usage, and bandwidth consumption.

    These tools are used to manage job productivity, ensure that each worker is following the company’s rules, and protect business assets against insider threats.

  4. Do Employers Have to Tell Employees They Are Being Monitored?

    It depends. While being transparent about employee monitoring is the recommended best practice, giving notice to employees is not always required.

    The majority of jurisdictions require each worker to be made aware of their employer’s intent to monitor. Some jurisdictions with greater rules and laws will further dictate that employees must be made explicitly aware of what data is captured, how it will be used (such as productivity management), and who will have access to it.

    As a best practice, employees should consider all activity on employer-owned assets to be tracked. 

  5. Can Employers Monitor Their Employee’s Personal Devices?

    It depends. If an employer allows their employees to use their personal devices for work purposes they may require them to install corporate applications that could feasibly capture details such as internet browsing, applications used, geolocation, etc. 

    That said, from a legal perspective employers are seldom justified in monitoring the computer activity of employee-owned devices.

    Furthermore, under the vast majority of circumstances, an employer will not be justified in secretly monitoring their employee’s personal devices. They will be required to notify them through a workplace monitoring policy, acceptable use policy, or similar company policy.

    There are times when personal activity may be logged:
    – When using employer-owned devices
    – When using employer-owned WiFi, VPN, and other network resources
    – When participating in a BYOD program where an employee consents to the monitoring

    As a best practice, employees should consider all activity on employer-owned assets to be monitored. If participating in a BYOD program they should use a virtual machine or a container to keep all company software and files separate from their personal activity. 

    Employers should also be mindful of the privacy concerns of monitoring personal devices and severely limit what they track or provide a company-owned device.How Do Employees Fe

Conclusion

Employee monitoring software is an essential tool for reducing productivity losses, understanding software and SaaS usage trends, and protecting sensitive data against insider threats—but they’re not without their considerations.

These employee monitoring statistics demonstrate that employers need to be mindful of misconceptions about monitoring tools that might hurt company culture. Companies can take steps to educate their employees about why employee monitoring is needed, how the data will (and won’t) be used, and the steps the company will take to protect their data.

Employers that want to implement monitoring tools must have a clear understanding of their goals, understand the workplace privacy laws that affect their right to monitor, and provide their employees with due notice of their intent to monitor. 


Improve Employee Productivity With BrowseReporter

“The employees find the reports to be an extremely helpful self-analysis tool, and use the reports to analyze and reconfigure priorities!”

Ready to get advanced insights into how your employees spend their time? Reach out to the CurrentWare team for a demo of BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s employee and computer monitoring software.

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.