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lomenak

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#154507 30-Oct-2014 12:22
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Does anyone have suggestions for a free (or reasonably priced) employee monitoring software. I would need something that logs activity (tab or window names and times) of staff to see their performance.

Second question here is, is this legal at all in NZ?

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gehenna
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  #1164964 30-Oct-2014 12:32
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Not the best way to encourage staff retention.

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  #1164970 30-Oct-2014 12:38
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We ran Webmarshal at my old job, blocked time wasting websites and ran reports for managers when asked to check on their staff's internet usage.  

If your'e wanting more than that and I worked for you as a standard employee, I'd be packing my things and moving on.

If staff productivity is of concern, try to find out why - have a meeting and ask staff if theres anything that could be contributing to their lack of work...... 





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MikeB4
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  #1164980 30-Oct-2014 12:52
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I prefer to manage by positive management techniques, they cost a lot less.

timbosan
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  #1164989 30-Oct-2014 13:02
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Push everything through and Untangle server - this will log all activity and even add in ad-blocking and porn sites, gambling etc.  The software is free  (for the basic package) and you just need a PC with two network cards.

AFAIK and IANAL - there is no 'law' that states you cannot monitor activity of employees, but you probably want to note it in employment contracts, when users login, or in acceptable use policies, etc.

Personally I don't have a problem with knowing my activities are monitoring for the sake of keeping work environments 'safe' from viruses, etc, but I wouldn't be happy with something with software that monitor 'tabs open' as you mention it - that sounds much more like something running on a PC rather than just monitoring Internet traffic.  Small distinction but a HUGE difference.

Dynamic
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  #1164990 30-Oct-2014 13:04
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As an IT professional for 20 years, I'd like to chime in and say I have never heard of this being put in place.

I tend to agree that internet usage can and should be monitored (and don't necessarily make a secret of it).  Facebook and TradeMe etc could potentially be enabled at certain times only or perhaps an old computer in the lunchroom can have these enabled (but obviously the screen will be visible to all).

Consider taking a look at employee performance management, setting expectations and/or goals, potentially with bonuses.

It's not an easy task dealing with staff when things are not going to plan, so I wish you luck.




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michaelmurfy
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  #1164993 30-Oct-2014 13:16
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I've had it in the past where employees would get "in trouble" for going on Facebook where the actual reason they were on Facebook was because they visited a legitimate website (for work purposes) with something like Facebook Social integrated. I personally don't support anything that could be seen as malicious from an employee point of view - I like knowing that nobody is watching my screen whilst I am doing something as simple as being on Geekzone or checking my bank accounts during my break time on my work laptop (even though my employee can theoretically check what I am doing).

A product I recommend is the Meraki - it has some pretty amazing reporting so you're able to see what your employees are up to, I don't recommend monitoring tabs or anything as this generally annoys people. You can flick me a DM if you want to know more about the Meraki or costs etc.

Nothing worse than micromanaging your staff on computer use - they should know what is acceptable. Instead, encourage acceptable computer use.




gzt

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  #1164994 30-Oct-2014 13:25
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lomenak:

Sounds to me you might be dealing with a particular difficult issue to resolve and you believe that monitoring may be a solution for that. The usual route (and from a legal perspective (ianal)) is starting with an acceptable use policy and ensuring all staff understand that.

 
 
 
 


ajobbins
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  #1165020 30-Oct-2014 14:04
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If internet usage is impacting work productivity, it's a performance issue and should be treated as such. This has been the case in most of the places I have worked, and seems to work well.

Micromanaging internet usage just sends the wrong management messages, particularly if you are expecting some flexibility from your employees. If you have an engineer who spent half the night working on a support issue, but is checking his Facebook at his desk the next day - cut him some slack. I have seen some organisations who expect ultimate flexibility from their employees, but don't seem willing to return the favour.




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Dynamic
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  #1165025 30-Oct-2014 14:14
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ajobbins: I have seen some organisations who expect ultimate flexibility from their employees, but don't seem willing to return the favour.

Nicely put.




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lomenak

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  #1165044 30-Oct-2014 14:35
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Thanks all for your input. We have a great team and trust them completely so there is no reason to have any internet usage policy in place. The only issue is with one of our staff whose role is not transparent to anyone in the company, sadly. The management team has got genuine concern that the person is only doing 5 hours worth of work every week and being paid for 40. This is pretty much stealing to me. We would need to see some statistics to be able to measure his productivity. 

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  #1165045 30-Oct-2014 14:45
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lomenak: The management team has got genuine concern that the person is only doing 5 hours worth of work every week and being paid for 40. This is pretty much stealing to me. We would need to see some statistics to be able to measure his productivity. 

A long term client in Ellerslie had a similar scenario earlier this year.  When stats were gathered (new firewall with decent reporting) and some hard meetings were conducted, one person was fired (after a process) and another quit (not sure whether in disgust or shame).

I agree that cyber-slacking is a form of theft.




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Demeter
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  #1165111 30-Oct-2014 15:47
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If you're a pretty easygoing, agreeable sort of boss some employees might simply take advantage of your good nature by being slack. An acceptable use policy and some general meetings about how usage should be limited to mainly work purposes will often be enough to make most people realise they're being watched and that their behaviour is unacceptable without having to resort to stricter measures.

Some people though, they can't take a hint unless it's applied with a baseball bat.

PS. Webmarshal is a *great* bat.




Item
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  #1165138 30-Oct-2014 16:13
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lomenak: Thanks all for your input. We have a great team and trust them completely so there is no reason to have any internet usage policy in place. The only issue is with one of our staff whose role is not transparent to anyone in the company, sadly. The management team has got genuine concern that the person is only doing 5 hours worth of work every week and being paid for 40. This is pretty much stealing to me. We would need to see some statistics to be able to measure his productivity. 


Seems odd to me that someone could exist in such a bubble that none of his/her managers (or even colleagues) were able to tell whether or not they were fulfilling the remit their role entailed? Sounds as much of a management issue as it does a staff failure!

If my team succeed at the goals I set them, successfully complete their work or contribute towards successful projects, demonstrate initiative and visibly go the extra mile on occasion then I can usually deem them worthy of their remuneration and thus couldn't care less whether they relax at appropriate times to look at Facebook or IGN or whatever the hell else.






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  #1165361 30-Oct-2014 22:03
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kerio control has an awesome web reporting interface
We use it for small business customers as their firewall software but it runs on windows and you just slap two network cards into the one pc and use it as a router.
Its absolutley awesome.




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tardtasticx
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  #1165384 30-Oct-2014 22:57
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I think so long as you spell out to the staff what they can and can't do with the computers at work, you should be able to put in measures to make sure thats the case.

As an employee I definitely wouldn't have a problem with the employer monitoring my usage, because they're paying for it and its their machine. I wouldn't expect to be able to go to work and have dirty chats online or browse Facebook. If I wanted to do that I'd do it on my break as most normal people would do. 

At the last job I worked at (Call centre for sales) we couldn't access the internet for anything other than google maps for checking Post codes, and a few internal sites. They had a pc in the cafeteria though but it was always being used. Cell phones were strictly banned, not even allowed in your pocket unless you had permission. I remember once I got told off for reading a book because it was a super slow day. Took it on the chin though and sat there twiddling my thumbs for the rest of the day.

Some people are way too entitled tbh.




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