Business organizations monitor their employees for a host of valid reasons. From evaluating individual performances to identifying potential issues and security threats to mapping out career paths to paying employees the right amount for the work they delivered, the need to monitor your workers is justified from various perspectives.
New developments in the technological front and emerging workforce trends demand that business organizations fully reinvent their approach to employee monitoring. Having the best computer monitoring software is nice. But the rise of the mobile workforce, the entry of Generation Z to the labor sector, the looming danger posed by insider threats and more drive the need for enhanced employee monitoring solutions, practices, and standards that are built on new and disruptive technologies.
Let’s dive in for a closer look at these impactful trends.
- Remote Workforce is Not a Fad
Technological advances in different fronts have combined to give rise to the mobile workforce trend. Once eschewed by business organizations until a few years back, employing remote workers and teams are now seen as a necessity especially with the benefits the practice brings to the big picture.
A 2019 survey by Airtasker revealed that remote workers are more productive in their tasks than office-based employees. The study found that employees who work in the office lose 37 minutes a day to unproductive activities. In contrast, mobile employees’ unproductive minutes tallied to an average of 27 minutes per day. This results in remote employees working longer, 21.9 days a month as opposed to the 20.5 days rendered by those based in the office.
It’s a growing trend with no signs of stopping. In the United States, there were 3.9 million remote workers back in 2015. Recent telecommuting statistics show that figure is now at 4.3 million. Data analysts from the labor sector predict massive growth in the coming years.
As this trend continues to roll and become a permanent standard for many industries, there will be heavy pressure on software developers and vendors to deliver comprehensive remote employee monitoring solutions with advanced capabilities and can scale upon demand.
- More Gen Z Members Becoming Workers
Generation Z is going to impact the workforce in so many ways. Gen Z-ers, or those people who were born between 1995 to mid-2000s, are poised to take 24% of the global workforce by 2020, according to the Manpower Group.
As opposed to Millennials, Gen Z-ers are expected to be more educated, financially-driven, and competitive. Born into the digital age where knowledge is a valuable asset, Gen Z-ers actively seek information and are open to learning new things, especially those that they see as instrumental or beneficial to their personal and professional growth.
Gen Z workplace statistics revealed that 65% of Gen Z-ers don’t mind being monitored at work. Employers can implement strict workplace monitoring practices like installing an employee screen monitoring software in every worker’s desktop or laptop and Gen Z-ers will be fine with that. In addition, 67% are comfortable whenever managers check in on them, asking about their tasks or seeing if they need guidance or advice.
Experts urge potential employers to anticipate their needs because of the advantages they bring to the table. Gen Z-ers have huge value potential. Companies must utilize all technologies and resources available to them to exact the most value from their Gen Z employees provided everything is transparent and Gen Z-ers are assured such actions equate to their development and career advancement.
- Increasing Risks of Insider Threats
The main problem in addressing insider threats is that their tactics keep on evolving. As soon as organizations manage to identify and fix the flaws in their cybersecurity systems, bad actors and hackers find new weak points to exploit. For years, it has been a game of catch-up and cyber criminals manage to stay steps ahead.
Left unchecked, bad actors within your organizations, such as rogue employees and insider agents, can steal sensitive customer information, leak trade secrets to the highest bidder, download ransomware, and post malicious and fraudulent content. In 2019, insider-related events cost companies all over the world an average of $1.62 million, a considerable jump from 2018’s average of $1.41 million.
That said, security experts urge companies that while they need to keep their digital protection solutions constantly updated, an equal amount of vigilance and focus should be directed on their employees.
According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, careless employees and partners rank as the leading cause for data breaches and cybersecurity incidents. Security issues stem mainly from their disregard for established policies and work standards, downloading and installation of unauthorized applications, mishandling of company accounts, unsecure access and transfer of company data, and more.
Experts recommend business organizations to complement their cybersecurity systems with integration-ready employee monitoring, identity access management, and device management platforms. Creating a strong and solid framework that covers preparation, mitigation, detection, and response is essential in quelling more insider-related incidents in the future.
- Getting on the BYOD Train
Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a workplace trend that is poised to stay. The advantages that stem from the said practice are quite obvious and can be justified convincingly by both employers and employees.
For organizations, the benefits include significant operational savings and highly productive workers. Companies don’t have to invest in more desktops, laptops, and other office equipment. They don’t have to issue mobile devices to their workers. A study by Cisco found that employers that allow workers to use their personal devices for work save $350 per employee every year. That’s substantial savings on any company payroll.
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For workers, the familiarity of their device and the use of their own tech allow them to work at a more productive rate. Being able to use their laptops and smartphones enable employees to perform tasks even after office hours.
However, critics point out a variety of flaws with the growing BYOD trend. Endpoint devices are extremely vulnerable to viruses, ransomware, malware, phishing emails, and insider threats. Because of the inter-connectivity that exists between social media apps and websites, laptops and smartphones are prime targets for hackers and cybercriminals.
But even faced with loud and vocal opposition, BYOD continues to gain traction across multiple industries. There is no stopping this particular train.
That said, security concerns are valid. As a result of the BYOD trend and the challenges it presents, companies need to invest in a platform that combines employee monitoring, device management, and information access management.
Hesitation in joining the BYOD revolution is understandable. But considering the benefits it brings to the table, employers must seek ways on how they can capitalize on this while proactively minimizing its risks.
Improve Employee Monitoring with Tech Revamp
Conventional types of employee monitoring are no longer adequate to help employers meet the rising challenges presented by these impactful workforce trends. It is high time for business organizations to review their employee monitoring guidelines, technologies, and processes, identify areas that require significant changes and seek ways on how to adopt and integrate new technologies to fully improve their employee monitoring strategies.
By investing in and adding new technologies to their employee monitoring approach, companies are able to fully maximize the benefits of employee monitoring. These include total visibility into all your employees’ activities, increased productivity, accurate calculation of payroll, and wholly compliant workers who operate within your organization’s policies and standards.