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Most remote workers reject monitoring software, study finds

·2-min read

A majority of remote workers have said they would not choose a job where their employer used software to track their work, a new survey has found.

About six in ten (59%) of those asked did not want to work for any company trying to use software that could spy on them, with only just over a third saying it was acceptable if used to comply with regulations.

“Our study sends a clear message – employees in all sectors strongly oppose the use of monitoring software in their homes, even if employers claim that it is required for regulatory compliance,” said Vivek Dodd, founder of training provider Skillcast, which commissioned the research.

Many workers also revealed a mistrust of their employers, with 8% saying they think they are being monitored by such software without being told.

The IT and finance sectors are especially suspicious of their bosses, with 11% and 10% saying they believe they are being clandestinely monitored.

Workers in the north of England were most suspicious of this, with 10% believing they are being monitored without being told.

Men, at 10%, are more suspicious than women (five per cent). Over-55s are the most suspicious age group, at 10%.

Only 25% said that monitoring is necessary to see if staff are actually working, compared to 69% who disagreed.

No respondents said it would be OK for their employer to constantly monitor them by webcam and only 3% said tracking their keystrokes was acceptable.

However, manual forms of monitoring, such as having a manager check in at the start and the end of the day won support, with 58% saying that was acceptable.

Just more than half (51%) said it was acceptable for a manager to evaluate the quality and the amount of work they were producing.

“They are not against monitoring per se, large numbers accept more personal, human approaches to monitoring. We also found a level of mistrust about employers already using such software – companies need to do more to dispel this perception,” Mr Dodd said.

The study was performed by YouGov, which surveyed 2,030 workers, of whom 1,188 were working from home. They were questioned online in late February and early March.

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