Methods for monitoring telework


Teleworking has brought with it new challenges for companies, one of them being that of performance or working time control. While this is logical within an organisation, monitoring must be carried out with due respect for workers' rights and the right to disconnect from work.

For effective and safe monitoring, the first thing that companies need to do is to be aware of the regulations that apply to them. By this we mean the regulations of the country in which the activity is carried out or where the worker is located, existing collective agreements and European guidelines.

The fine imposed on a Dutch company for forcing one of its workers to spend the whole of his working day with the computer camera on and sharing his screen has recently been very well publicised. The Dutch court has argued that these measures are disproportionate and violate the worker's right to privacy.

This ruling shows that not just any monitoring measure will do. They must be proportionate, transparent and never infringe on the fundamental rights of the worker.

In this sense, the first step may be to formalise a telework agreement that sets out the conditions under which the teleworker will carry out his/her activity.

This is why some of the measures that the company can take to control the productivity of its personnel are the following:

  • Organise a time recording system, indicating the start and end of the working day. This can be done, for example, using applications.
  • Have time measurement systems: this solution allows the use of different management software to allocate time to projects or to control the use that is being made of certain applications. There is a wide variety of tools that pursue this objective, such as EffiWork, DeskTime or Rescuetime.
  • Define objectives for the team or staff and control their definition through regular follow-up meetings. This control system is based on trust in the employees and on communication to guarantee the degree of compliance and to control whether the defined objectives are achievable and in what form.