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Keeping an eye on home working employees

I have come across several articles recently that consider the GDPR implications of employee monitoring. From CCTV in the car park to electronic monitoring of home working via webcams, the privacy lines are undoubtedly being blurred in some instances. I would like to approach this from a slightly different perspective, however, and that is one of relationships, specifically the fundamental relationship between employer and employee.

You will now be expecting me to talk about trust. Of course, that is a considerable element. However, almost every company claims to trust its employees and act with integrity, yet many employees feel that they are not trusted. How then can employers take that leap of faith and have confidence in their employees to work well without being spied upon?

Looking at the evidence, there is a lot to be said for faith and confidence. Recent research found that the majority of organisations (72%) saw an increase in productivity as a result of remote and hybrid working, with productivity increasing on average by 27%. Yet still, some employers are reluctant to relinquish control. Some companies have announced pay cuts for remote workers, in a move that surely devalues their contribution and may result in them losing their best people.

To succeed in creating mutual trust – i.e. creating a workplace where staff are not mistrustful of their bosses and vice versa – the solution has to be embedded into the cultural design of an organisation.  Employees should enjoy a culture of psychological safety, which means they feel confident enough to share opinions, concerns and ideas. If a company can truly create this kind of culture, it will be rewarded with staff who genuinely want to go above and beyond. When that becomes the case, the case for monitoring is negated.

If you would like advice on how to create the best culture within your organisation for employee wellbeing and productivity (and reduce the risk of conflict and tribunals) contact Richard Port on