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Track or Trust? 6 Pros and Cons of Productivity Monitoring Apps and Devices

Productivity Monitoring Apps and Devices

Whether you’re considering a biometric time clock at your physical business premises or productivity monitoring software to track your remote workforce, there are pros and cons it pays to be aware of before proceeding. By factoring the following points into your decision-making process, you’re far more likely to gain the benefits of tracking technology without upsetting your team. 

Pro: It does what it says on the packaging 

Regardless of the tracking technology you go for, you can generally be confident that it will improve your team’s productivity. Biometric access systems remove the capacity for buddy punching and ensure people arrive and depart on time. It can also help you ensure people are taking the breaks they need, so they don’t burn themselves out. 

Productivity tracking software can help you identify and rectify unproductive workflows. It can also help you and your employees identify their most productive times and the triggers that can make them lose focus. When used effectively this can help you all improve the way you approach the workday. 

Con: It can feel Orwellian if not implemented tactfully

We’ve all been exposed to enough dystopian storylines to be incredibly wary of any form of tracking technology. So, if you fail to bring your team in on the decision-making process and inform them of your reasons for installing such technology, you could be in for an unpleasant backlash. 

You can avoid this con by talking openly with your team about the technology you’re considering. If you aim to give them tools for getting more out of each workday and tools for understanding what they need to thrive, then it’s important to make this clear. 

Pro: Streamlined business processes

When used to gain data rather than micromanage employees, tracking technology can help you identify processes and applications that are no longer serving you or your team. You may also recognize, for example, that one employee is more productive toward the end of the day. This may help you negotiate flexible schedules that make your employees happier while boosting their productivity. 

Once you’ve implemented some strategies based on this valuable data, you can use the same tools to track progress and see if your new direction is working or if it needs some course correction.

Con: Privacy concerns

Even if you have the best intentions with your tracking technology, your team will still have some privacy concerns. This is 100% warranted, so it’s crucial that you don’t steamroll over their worries. Instead, be transparent, listen to their concerns, and take actions to address them. 

Pro: Improved compliance

With tracking technology, you can expect a decrease in compliance issues and negligence. This will protect you from data breaches and legal issues, and even if something untoward does occur, you’ll have better records to determine what happened and who was responsible. 

Con: Lack of trust

No matter what you do, some employees may feel that you’re unfairly spying on them. This can lead to anger, dissatisfaction, and sometimes even legal disputes. If you want to avoid such drama, it’s crucial to demonstrate to your team that you’re only collecting data that will help everyone perform more effectively. You need to make the boundaries clear so they don’t fear that you’re tracking them outside of work hours. It may help to work with a business lawyer to ensure contracts are clear and your actions are all within the bounds of the law. 

Keep these pros and cons in mind, and most importantly, ensure your team is in the loop about any new technology you’re considering. 


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