Mobile monitoring apps are becoming an unavoidable requirement for business. Yet, like any other thing that comes with a benefit, there are some risks or challenges. Employees are getting increasingly uncomfortable for staying under the radar for most of the work time. They have privacy concerns that may boil over and derail all the progress that you’ve made.
Like it or not, surveillance by the employer has always been there. But the new technologies are more sophisticated and it’s raising concerns about the “Big Brother” level of monitoring.
In this article, we have tried to dissect the use of surveillance apps for businesses and the risks and opportunities that come with them.
Risks of using a Mobile Monitoring Apps:
a. Social media concerns:
Modern workforce is mostly made up of millennials who engage with the world outside through social media like LinkedIn. According to a research by Pew Research Centre, 77% of the employees use social media at work. Many of the employees have tied their work phone or email to their social profiles. One of the major concerns shared by these employees is that surveillance software have the ability to mine passwords. They can infiltrate a smartphone and show every movement made by the employee and can even steal sensitive information.
b. Life under a managerial microscope:
Some mobile monitoring apps like Xnspy have the ability to log employee’s social media messages which leaves their personal information vulnerable. Privacy advocates fear that life on the job is under severe scrutiny. Take Walmart, it recently patented a new level monitoring system that can listen in on their workers and customers. This system uses “sound sensors” to monitor their customers’ shopping and check-out experience. While Walmart finds it helpful for improving the customer service and overall business experience, employees think it is more like intervening in their lives which may lead to many lawsuits and patent implementations.
c. Legal Lacunae:
While monitoring is deemed a standard practice worldwide, the real problem lies in falling in-line with the legal requirements that do not unduly affect the employment relationship. There are different laws regarding employee monitoring in various jurisdictions in Europe, the US, and Asia-Pacific. Achieving compliance on these laws is a challenge itself as failing to comply may land these companies in legal battles that can cause a loss of millions in revenue and perhaps a permanent ban in the worst-case scenario.
Though mobile monitoring apps have obvious advantages, it is difficult for these monitoring solutions to draw the distinction between private and work information. Monitoring of private information may invite a strong backlash from employees. The need for protecting the private information of the employees is legitimate but finding a delicate balance is still a distant dream for companies due to the varying jurisdictions regarding employee monitoring.
With Risk Comes Opportunity:
Should the companies go ahead with banning smartphone use during the working hours? Perhaps not. There are more creative ways where monitoring can be a game-changer for businesses than being a potential risk.
a. Striking down the cost of business:
Overruns, redundancy, and increased business cost are some of the financial burdens that may weaken any company’s propensity to expand and grow. Mobile monitoring apps are designed to make a business not only financially stronger but also administratively better. Employee monitoring makes business evaluation not only easier but efficient. For example, tracking a remote workforce would not only cut down on accidents but also costly tickets and thus save you on your insurance cost.
b. Productivity boost:
Believe it or not but its human nature that people are more productive when they are monitored. For many employees out there, if they know that they are being monitored, there are a lot of things they wouldn’t dream of doing. A study published in the Association for Psychological Science threw its weight behind electronic monitoring in improving employee performance. Monitoring ensures that the employees will not waste time to complete a specific task. Similarly, according to another research, connecting performance monitoring to reward, improves the performance of the employees.
c. Improved security:
Lastly, but perhaps, the most significant change that mobile monitoring apps bring is about curbing the emerging threats and data breaches that can kill the business competitiveness. From simple things like social media activity to shredding sensitive documents, monitoring ensures the integrity of the business. Monitoring internal communication among the employees can plug many threats that emerge from non-compliance of certain rules.
Security is a collective responsibility:
The use of mobile monitoring apps is not to build a security-minded workplace culture. Security is everyone’s obligation. By staying vigilant and following mindful steps, we can minimize the risks facing the company by using reliable mobile monitoring solutions.