21% of Employees Are Tracked with Employee Monitoring Software; Executives Believe It’s Bad for Morale, HR Departments & Millennials Disagree


Only 21% of employees say their employer tracks them with employee monitoring software, according to new data from Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. Searches for employee monitoring software have skyrocketed as a result of COVID-19, leading businesses to weigh the pros and cons of using software to track their employees’ productivity.

Nearly half of employees in the U.S. (49%) say their company doesn’t use employee monitoring software.

Experts say that companies are unlikely to use employee tracking software if they believe that employees can perform without it.

“My entire team is remote, and I do not use employee monitoring software to track their work,” said Grey Idol, cofounder of PayrollFunding, a payroll staffing company. “I hire adults, not children, and I trust them to manage their time properly.”

Idol’s attitude is shared by many managers: Give employees the time, space, trust, and resources to get the job done, and they will execute.

Other employers keep tabs on their employees in more traditional ways. Black Joseph, webmaster at FireStickHacks, which posts reviews and ratings about Amazon’s Firestick TV remote, said that instead of monitoring software, he uses more traditional strategies to track employees, such as reviewing their work.

Employee tracking software may be unfamiliar to employees, but being responsible for their work and time is nothing new.

Only 10% of Employees Think Employee Monitoring Software Improves Trust

Morale and trust are main concerns with employee monitoring software. Only 10% of employees believe they would trust their employer more if they used the software.

Dave Morley, general manager of Rockstar Recruiting, a recruiting firm specializing in placing skilled tradespeople, previously worked in HR at a company that introduced employee monitoring software without telling employees.

When employees found out, company morale dropped significantly. Employees became skeptical, and Morley started hearing workers make the same joke: ‘”Big Brother’ was watching over our work.” Eventually, numerous employees lost trust in the business and left.

More than one-third of employees (37%) believe employee monitoring software would reduce trust. About half (53%) of employees, however, said employee monitoring software would not affect if they trusted their company.

Generational Differences

While members of Generation X are concerned with their employers seeing what they do on their computer, millennials remain relatively unbothered.

Just 22% of those aged 18–34 are concerned with employee monitoring software, while 31% of those aged 35–54 are concerned.

Steve Gauche, director and digital strategist at ITrunway, a virtual consulting agency, explains that general technology knowledge and attitudes about privacy are important factors that make young workers more comfortable with employee monitoring software.

Clutch surveyed 400 full-time workers in the U.S. in June 2020.

Read the full report.

Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Each month, over half a million buyers and sellers of services use the Clutch platform, and the user base is growing over 50% a year. Clutch has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S. and has been listed as a top 50 startup by LinkedIn.

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