The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Surveillance Software to Monitor Home Workers Includes Screenshot Technology

Surveillance Software to Monitor Home Workers Includes Screenshot Technology
29 September 2020 | Updated 25 November 2020
 

Employers’ use of surveillance software, known as bossware, appears to be on the up, with off-the-shelf products able to track keystrokes, mouse movements and even take random screenshots throughout the day.

Online business owner Shibu Philip told the BBC that he uses such software to track seven remote workers based in India:

"By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they're following procedures.”

 

“We should both celebrate and be cautious of technology for its ability to support people and business through this crisis.” 

–Ed Houghton

Head of Research and Thought Leadership, CIPD

 

Screenshots, URL Activity and Keyboard and Mouse Usage

 

Hubstaff, Philip’s software solution of choice and one of many on the market, is a productivity tracking programme that has optional screenshotting as one of its features. 

Random screen capture can be customised by employers, and set to once, twice, or three times per ten minutes. Hubstaff’s website states that around two-thirds of businesses monitor their employees’ internet use.

Such monitoring is commonplace in compliance-heavy environments such as financial institutions and trading floors, but with working from home set to be the norm for the foreseeable few months, workplace monitoring of this type may gain momentum in other sectors.

Ed Houghton, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)'s Head of Research and Thought Leadership, wrote back in May that organisations must exercise caution when installing such software:

“While technology may present the opportunity for monitoring and surveillance, it’s clear that the benefits must be weighed up against the drawbacks. Clearly technology is currently connecting workers and enabling work for many in a way that even a decade ago was not possible.

“Organisations that would have stopped operations are today keeping their lights on, even if those lights are in the homes of workers and not the office.

“We should both celebrate and be cautious of technology for its ability to support people and business through this crisis.” 

Picture: a graphic showing a person working on a laptop, with a security camera facing them

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 29 September 2020

Share



Related Articles

PwC's Facial Recognition Tools To Monitor Home Workers

PwC faces criticism after developing facial recognition tools to track employees, but they say that the tech has been developed to support an existing...

 Read Full Article
Self-Isolation Rules Should Change Amid Pingdemic, says CIPD

In what's becoming known as a "pingdemic", organisations are facing mass staff shortages because employees have been advised to self-isolate through...

 Read Full Article
Casella Launches Social Distancing Smart Tags for Workers

A smart-monitoring technology company has launched a wearable smart tag designed to make social distancing easier. The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag gives the...

 Read Full Article
CCTV’s Role in the Surveillance of Remote Workers

Coronavirus is accelerating the demand for CCTV systems being used to remotely monitor people and operations in the workplace, according to a new...

 Read Full Article
Finance Sector May Lead the Way in Shaping the New Normal for Employees

After the CEO of Barclays said the firm would look at a more “de-centralised approach to staff working”, the finance sector and beyond looks likely to...

 Read Full Article
Face Masks – Are There Implications for Security Teams?

With mask-wearing becoming mandatory in certain public buildings in England, FM security teams may have to take additional precautions to face this challenge. Shops...

 Read Full Article
Busiest Day for Office Attendance Since March 2020 Reported

Office occupancy in the UK recently reached its highest percentage since the start of the pandemic. On Thursday 12 May 2022, office occupancy reached an average of 42...

 Read Full Article
Rees-Mogg Urges Civil Servants to Make Use of London Office Space

Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, in a letter to cabinet colleagues, is urging civil servants to reduce how much time they spend working from home. In a letter...

 Read Full Article
Wellbeing and Mental Health Drops Down Business Agenda

Despite wellbeing remaining an ongoing concern for workers, CIPD research suggests that mental health is beginning to slip down the business agenda amongst...

 Read Full Article
Is There A 'Safer' Day Of The Week to Attend The Office?

In terms of virus transmission risk, are there days that are “safer” to attend the workplace than others? According to the Infogrid Air Quality Index, only...

 Read Full Article