You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Millions of business owners and managers take this advice to heart and deploy systems to keep an eye on all their operations. From the production line to the logistics, collecting data about how things are going often helps business leaders make better decisions. However, some go a step further and monitor their staff just as closely. Keeping tabs on how employees behave and what they do at their desk could make your workplace secure and a lot more productive. Making sure employees are not oversharing on social media could help prevent burglaries.

Nevertheless, employees deserve their privacy just as much as anyone else. Here’s what you should consider when deploying a productivity or security monitoring system at work:

Monitoring location

Monitoring someone’s location is remarkably easy now with advancements in mobile and GPS technology. However, this sort of geographic tracking is only valid for certain professions. If you work in the logistics or transport industry, you may need to keep a track where your employees are. Client’s in a cab or packages on track need to be monitored for business purposes, no doubt. However, in the service industry where employees have desk jobs, tracking their movements out of the office may not be ethical.

 Phone calls and messages

Special software to track messages and phone calls may be valid when the employee’s job involves a lot of official communication. Customer service agents, for example, need to have their calls and emails constantly monitored for quality and legal purposes. However, there is absolutely no need to monitor an employee’s private messages or phone calls made for work purposes from a private phone.

Time tracking

Clever trackers can help you monitor your employee’s work screens and desktop activity. This sort of tracking helps prevent fraud and promotes productivity at work. However, this software and wearables should be restricted to on-desk and at-work activities. Do not monitor the amount of time your employees spend in the washroom if you want them to feel comfortable working for you.

Keeping an eye on everything

Some business owners may deal with a temptation to monitor everything an employee does. However, being on payroll does not exempt an employee from a fundamental human right to privacy. So, monitor only the essentials and never invade anyone’s private space.  Instead, set goals and clearly communicate your expectation with your employees.

With better technology, tracking an employee’s every move is now easier than ever. However, such surveillance is only justified when there’s a business case for it. For most business owners in most industries, it’s better to simply trust people and communicate with them openly.