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An employer’s right to track the productivity of remote workers

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Employment Law |

Working remotely has quickly become the norm in Alaska and other states across the nation. Whether this is temporary, permanently or flexible, remote work has its benefits and setbacks. While it could have budgetary benefits, employers have concerns regarding productivity and protecting their business while their employees are working at home or at a remote location.

Remote work and employer tracking

While it may seem invasive, employers have a certain level of rights to track what their employees do. Whether in the office or working at home, an employer has the right and ability to understand how much work and employee is doing and the quality of the work as well. Furthermore, an employer has the right to know what is being done on a company computer. In other words, they have the right to track the sites visited and for how long.

The right to track

While this right is not without bounds, it does cover basic areas that an employer would desire or need coverage of. To begin, and employer can monitor work emails. The reasons is to uncover any misuse of company email accounts. Next, they could install a tracking program to track both focus and activity. This means they will know when an employee is logged on and the amount done while logged on.

Third, an employer can see an employee’s browser, meaning they will know all sites visited on a company computer. Next, they can monitor workplace collaboration tools, which often include chat and video features. Finally, they could monitor surroundings, which could be gaining access to the microphone or camera on a company computer; however, there are proper measures to initiate this right by an employer.

Employees may feel as though their rights were violated because of this tracking, especially if the tracking resulted in a termination. However, employers can act against these claims. By understanding the rights afforded to employers and what steps should be taken to ensure they are properly implemented, a business could protect themselves from litigation.