Millions of British workers are being monitored by managers using cloud based software to ensure they stay productive while working remotely.
Cloud based systems have soared in popularity since the pandemic with thousands of UK companies now keeping tabs on their workforces using the logging information provided by these software solutions.
Suppliers such as TelephoneSystems.Cloud have provided hundreds of unified communication systems across the country during the past two years and say an increasing number of companies are choosing to closely monitor the activities of their teams.
Unified communication includes VOIP technology allowing internet based telephone calls so landline numbers can be answered in worker’s homes and other remote locations.
With all calls logged and recorded, unified communication also allows for teams chat and video to all be logged and recorded and live monitored by managers.
The cloud based technology makes it possible to observe not only individual tasks being completed by team members working hundreds of miles away from a central hub, but also allows managers to drill down into activity in real time.
Managers can produce reports comparing the productivity of individual team members enabling them to identify star performers – and slackers.
The tools are promoted as enabling companies to save cash by streamlining systems and identifying inefficiencies – such as an unproductive worker.
It also allows bosses to reward their most productive team members and to avoid time wasting by letting them see when individuals are uncontactable or in meetings.
The trend for workers to be employed at locations away from the office was massively accelerated by the pandemic and thousands of companies have since embraced hybrid working models.
But many professionals continue to face challenges to ensure their teams are fully engaged and not being distracted by the temptations of remote working.
Experts from TelephoneSystems.Cloud say remote workers can easily become disconnected with their colleagues and with their company’s objectives and culture.
Juliet Moran, from TelephoneSystems.Cloud said: “More of us are working from home now than ever before but many firms are struggling to keep their teams fully engaged.
“We believe that’s why the popularity of tools such as unified communication systems, are becoming increasingly popular.
“These tools really allow managers and directors to look under the bonnet of their business and to make sure their teams are being fully productive throughout the working day.
“They can keep an overview of the team’s work, but they also allow bosses to drill down and monitor exactly what each single team member is getting up to throughout the day.
“The feedback we have had from clients who have introduced these systems has been overwhelmingly positive with many telling us it has allowed them to increase their targets and improve profitability of their businesses.
“We believe these systems will continue to grow in popularity over the coming years with millions of home workers already being monitored in this way and many more firms introducing such systems every month.”
Despite employee privacy and GDPR concerns, employment contracts usually include clauses which allow remote workers to be monitored and also allow bosses to act if actions negatively impact the employer’s business.