I saw a paragraph on LinkedIn that linked to an article published by Axios titled Many tech workers would quit if employer recorded them. It stated:

...survey showed more than half would leave an employer who recorded audio or video of them — or who used facial recognition to monitor productivity. The poll also showed slightly fewer than half would resign over having keystrokes tracked, or if screenshots were taken of their computer screens.

spying bird

I'm going to be blunt; if anyone was surprised by this survey, they're stupid, naive, and know nothing about leadership, let alone how to run a business.

When I was still an employee, these types of things didn't exist in general. There were some areas that had cameras, but never watching employees. Truthfully, who would spend the time watching them, and what would we have seen in the first place?

Now, this article's talking about employees working from home, and how some businesses want to monitor them to make sure they're actually working. How many of you would allow someone to install cameras in their house, or add software to your computer so they could track you? I doubt I'd get a lot of positive responses to this type of invasion.

Here's another truth. Most employees working in offices aren't being monitored on a regular basis either. Maybe industries like call centers do that, but if there are offices in other businesses doing it, I doubt there's a lot of them. Once again, not that they're all that trusting of their employees (which is another problem); it's that they don't have the time to do that, be leaders, and get their own work done.

Back in the day when I was an employee in a leadership capacity, even though I walked around my employees relatively often, I wasn't checking to see if they were working. What I did instead was track the analytics of each person's productivity; at least in the billing area. I didn't have to worry about the registration area; if there were patients in there then they were busy; if not, then tended to paperwork that needed to be done but wasn't crucial.

What I did instead was set up my spreadsheets (that's what we had back then) with all the important analytics, then by individual, then checked those figures on a monthly basis... as well as talking to the employee about them. If all was good then it was a short meeting. If it wasn't, then we'd talk about areas that needed improvement. Everyone knew what they job was and what they needed to achieve; from my perspective, that's all I needed to know.

The truth is that just because there are standards to be reached doesn't mean someone has to sit at their desk all day, whether they're at home or in an office. It also doesn't mean they can't, or won't, get all their work finished in less than 8 hours or whatever schedule you're invoking. In the long run, what's more important; verifying that someone's sitting at a desk working at least 8 hours a day, or looking at performance via statistics, tweaking them when necessary, then making sure the employees are trained well enough to reach departmental goals... fair goals?

There's a lot of businesses these days saying they're having trouble finding employees because they don't want to work; that's not the problem. The problem is that more employers are being exposed for bad leadership principles and education. They want "bosses", not "leaders"; how's that been working for you long term?

Would I have loved to have all of my employees in the office every day? Absolutely! Did I need all of them to be there? Some of them... absolutely. But in many ways, some of my employees would have benefited more if they could have worked from home, especially those with kids. Did I need them working specifically from 8 to 8 or 9 to 5? With the job they were doing... nope.

It makes a lot more sense to evaluate performance through analytics than asking an employee if you can track them just because they're home. I'm surprised the percentage of people who are against it isn't at least 75%. Without changing their processes, there's going to be a lot more businesses shutting down because of their practices. That's without my even talking about some businesses deciding they can pay employees less because they're working from home.

That's a conversation for another time.