Shibu Philip admits he knows what it’s like to “maybe waste a bit of time at work”.
Shibu is the founder of Transcend – a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online.
For the last year and a half he has used Hubstaff software to track his workers’ hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.
With seven employees based in India, he says the software ensures “there is some level of accountability” and helps plug the time difference.
“I know myself. [You can] take an extra 10-minute break here or there. It’s good to have an automatic way of monitoring what [my employees] are up to,” says Shibu.
“By looking at screenshots and how much time everyone is taking on certain tasks, I know if they’re following procedures.
“And, if they’re doing better than I expected, I also study the photos and ask them to share that knowledge with the rest of the team so we can all improve,” he says.
Employees are fully aware that the software is in use and can delete time spent visiting websites that might have been logged by accident during their break, for example, Shibu adds.
With more of us than ever working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a spike in demand for software that monitors employee activity.
US-based Hubstaff says its number of UK customers is up four times year-on-year since February.
Another company called Sneek offers technology that takes photos of workers through their laptop and uploads them for colleagues