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ONE IN five UK companies is using an employee-monitoring tool in the hybrid workplace.

The new working model has presented fresh challenges for managers. Demand for surveillance tools skyrocketed in 2020, increasing by almost 60 percent. According to Google Trends, worldwide searches for employee monitoring software increased by 35 percent in the same year.

Emails are most-tracked (94 percent), followed by calls (87), video (87), messages (85). Business areas using surveillance tools include financial, legal, retail, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and government sectors.

The study comparing the data collection features of 32 popular monitoring tools discovered that 94 percent track how much time employees spend on tasks. And 75 percent can take screengrabs of workers’ desktops.

Keylogger software alerts supervisors when workers use devices for personal activities, webcams track biometric data, screen monitoring and screenshots gauge productivity and stress levels. Employer-provided smartphones equipped with geolocation software can track employees’ whereabouts

More than half of workers canvassed say they feel anxious about this scrutiny. Mark Turner, CTO at the Instant Group, says it has ramped-up thanks to new technology. “When used strategically, this tracking benefits all,” he says.

“Businesses can identify resourcing issues, streamline processes and identify gaps, while employees can use the data to prioritise, manage workloads and track productivity. The key is transparency and communication.”

Read the full study here: Employee Privacy in 2022 and Beyond