Managing Employees in the Digital Age: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


One of the several blessings of digital era is that managing employees is a lot easier. Now, you can control your employees just by pressing a few buttons and using a few gadgets irrespective of the distance. Mobistealth and other such employee monitoring software does everything for you from saving the browsing history of employees to monitoring their digital behavior. Cameras monitor the physical activities of employees. Printers tell you who printed which document at what time. However, this is just one side of the picture. Managing employees in a digital world is not always easy, as you may come across bad and ugly things. Continue reading to know how managing employees in this digital age can be good, bad and ugly at the same time.

The Good

Protection against Litigation: A lawsuit does more damage to the repute of an organization than anything else. Thanks to technology, court cases are easy to deal with, especially when employees are involved in it. Monitoring software just need a minute to reveal the web browsing history, Skype chat, email details and much more. Cameras are also there to record facts related to the matter of contention. These tools are acceptable in the court of law, given certain conditions are fulfilled, making it easier for the organization to prove its innocence in the court.

Transparency: In this digital age, there is nothing employees can hide from you, not even their web browsing history or emails. Employers know almost everything an employee does in office which makes it easier for them to evaluate the performance of each employee. An employee monitoring software monitors employee activities and send detailed reports. Finding out who comes late at the office, who leaves early, who wastes time on Facebook, who uses smartphone too often, who talks a lot etc. is not difficult anymore. What you need is a handful of a few tools like a high-resolution surveillance camera, monitoring software, etc.

Increased Performance: One of the major reasons employers happily invests money in buying surveillance cameras, SMS trackers, digital monitoring tools, etc. is because these tools enhance the productivity of employees up to a great extent. The feeling that they are being watched is itself enough for employees to work diligently. With these tools onboard, there is no chance for an employee to waste time. Employees are provided with their weekly or monthly performance reports which are generated using different online tools. This gives them an idea about what they lack and how to improve their skills.

The Bad

Increased Cost: No doubt, employee monitoring tools are quite useful, but we cannot deny the fact that they cost a lot of money. Arranging PC for every employee, a surveillance camera in each corner of office building, an employee monitoring software for every employee, a digital attendance system, etc. definitely requires a fair amount of funds.

Decreases Trust: Even though this digital age has made it easier to monitor employees, yet it has also created an invisible wall between employers and employees. The use of employee monitoring software and other tools gives a clear message to the employees that the top management does not trust them, which sometimes leads to resentment and a decreased level of motivation.

Hectic: Managing a monitoring software, camera videos, attendance logs, etc. can be really hectic and time-taking, especially when you are running a large organization. You may need to hire people to evaluate employee monitoring reports, camera recordings, etc. which also increases cost.

The Ugly

Corporate Spies: Some people want to play it dirty by using technology against others. A large number of companies deploy corporate spies in rival organizations just to get access to their confidential documents. These spies remain in the organization like an ordinary employee, but their main focus is on getting information about the upcoming products and services, projects, pricing strategies, advertising campaigns and business plans. This information is then used by the competitors to devise their own strategies. Corporate spies use the company internet and other digital sources to send private information via email or cell phone. Company printer may also be used for getting the hard copy of private documents.

Employee Privacy: Some employers install a monitoring app not only on employees PC, but also on their cell phone just to make sure they don’t waste time on texting and calls during working hours. This is a clear violation of employee privacy. Employees feel irritated and distracted due to these extreme surveillance measures. They need space to work freely, something they are hardly granted in this digital world.

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