5 Reasons To Implement A System That Tracks Computer Usage At Work

10 November 2015
 Categories: , Articles

A network auditing system to track the activities of employees who use company computers can benefit an organization in a number of ways. In this age of technology, it is often necessary to keep a close eye on information that enters and exits the workplace via the internet. Review the following benefits of utilizing a computer auditing system in the workplace.

1. Protect Proprietary Company Information

Auditing network activity data helps prevent proprietary information leaks and other potential threats. Implementing a tracking system allows IT professionals to identify dangerous software downloads, computer viruses and breaches of confidential information over the web. Auditing computer activities in the workplace is one way employers can help prevent crucial company information from being shared by disgruntled employees, as well as protect customer data from system hackers.

2. Curtail Illegal and Unethical Behaviors

File system activity auditing of workplace computers can curtain employee activities that are unethical, or even illegal. For instance, when coworkers share off-color jokes or offensive images on work computers, their actions could result in sexual harassment lawsuits and other problems. When employees know their online activities are tracked, they are much more likely to think twice before viewing inappropriate web content or participating in online activities unsuitable for the workplace.

3. Manage Employee Productivity

Most employers have come to accept that employees occasionally spend time on their workplace computers engaging in non-work related activities, like checking personal emails, perusing social media sites and internet shopping. While most employers won't quibble over a couple minutes here and there spent on personal tasks, there is always someone who tries to test the limits. Tracking the network activity data of employees allows employers to identify those who spend an excessive amount of time using business computers for recreational purposes.

The Guardian reports that 32 percent of employees spend time on social media sites during work hours. In the same survey, 23 percent of respondents even admitted to spending time looking for a different job on work computers. Excessively engaging in these kinds of activities can certainly impact employee productivity, which will inevitably affect the company's bottom line.

4. Ensure Compliance of Internet Usage Policies

Accurately tracking network data helps ensure that employees abide by company policies regarding internet usage. However, these policies should be easily accessible to employees so they are clear about the terms and do not inadvertently risk breaking the rules. Just knowing there is a system in place to track internet activity is often enough to encourage employee compliance.

In addition, this type of monitoring system can help reduce network bandwidth usage and the associated costs because employers are able to pinpoint which employees are excessively downloading files to their computers from the internet.

5. Gather Business Intelligence

By using an activity tracking system to gather business intelligence, employers are better able to identify any tools that may help employees increase their accuracy and productivity. Employers can use this data to understand which periods are most productive and how well employees communicate information with their team members. This type of system does not need to be used only for "spying" purposes, as it can also shed light on certain challenges employees may face when working on business-related tasks.

Misuse of company computers by employees leaves employers vulnerable to security risks, unnecessary litigation and profit loss. By tracking the activities of all computers within the network, employers have a clear picture of how employees are spending their time at work. This data can be an invaluable tool used to identify and cease any inappropriate online activities that may negatively affect the entire workplace.