Hiring employees and ensuring they’re productive on the job are two separate tasks that every employer needs to take seriously. Because regardless of how impressive a person might seem during an interview, their character only comes to light when they’re faced with distractions – of which the internet is chock full of.

Privacy laws are a bit more lenient on employers who monitor their workers, as long as surveillance is moderate and not overly intrusive – something like an email lookup would be considered ok.

Discovering what your workers are doing would be a lot easier if the device they use is provided by the company since ownership will give you greater leeway. There are a lot of reasons why businesses need to keep track of their employees and a finite number of ways to do so. Here are a few ways to find out what your workers are doing on company time.

Monitor Employee Productivity

Targets are an excellent way to keep track of productivity. But aside from setting long term goals for each worker, one way to see how mindful they are of company resources is to set schedule check-in times, perhaps bi-weekly or weekly, to get updates on what they’ve been working on.

You can request email status updates that provide a time stamp record of how fast each task was completed or even have workers fill in statements about completed tasks. Some firms employ collaboration techniques, where one person’s task is dependent on the other so that both workers check and balance each other’s work ethic.


One of the primary reasons why tracking employee productivity is important is because it prevents employees from only focusing on big projects. Keeping track of each project forces everyone to bring in the same level of effort, day in day out.

Besides, following each employee’s progress provides a well-documented reason on whether to heap praise or provide rightful scorn. An employee that’s fond of missing status updates, and who then fails to turn in a big final project, has a trail of bad behavior recorded and so can’t come up with any flimsy excuse for missing deadlines or asking for extensions.

So the benefits of monitoring productivity are twofold – one to make sure workers are doing what they’re paid to do, and two, to have well-documented track records in case an employee’s ever fired and wants to file for wrongful termination.

Use Surveillance Cameras

Employees, to some extent, have come to expect less privacy in the workplace, thanks to various state laws granting unlimited surveillance powers to employers. However, having eyes everywhere can give a “big brother” kind of vibe at the workplace, which is why it’s always a nice courtesy to notify employees when cameras are being installed. Or have notices that say your firm’s under constant video surveillance. A heads up basically.

Video surveillance has more benefits beyond learning about employee productivity. Cameras can catch internal theft, way before the effects are felt, and ensure company resources are being used diligently – and for their specific purposes.

Just knowing that cameras are watching can prevent a host of internal crime. Most importantly, the time stamp on video recordings can help during litigation, perhaps if there’s ever a dispute about when paid vacation should have begun or similar lawsuits. There are a host of ethical and legal backgrounds that video surveillance solves, just make sure nothing’s too intrusive – like having cameras in locker rooms or restrooms – otherwise you’ll be facing separate legal charges.

Watch out for state laws regarding surveillance, and try not to implicate yourself. Bear in mind that video and audio recordings have vastly different laws, and not adhering to one could render your evidence impermissible in court. So again, learn the fine print of the law before putting cameras.

Use Spokeo Reverse Number Lookup Service When Your Employees are Out of Surveillance Reach

The principle here is that employees aren’t always honest about representing the company’s interest when they’re out of the company building. If you’ve seen one too many news stories of employees getting fired because they were called out on social media for being discriminatory, then you understand that companies need to know how their employees represent them on their off time – because their brand could take a hit from negative publicity.

Spokeo Employee Search PR (1)

Here’s why using Spokeo is practically a necessity in today’s digital era. To begin with, it’s a people search/background check service that helps you locate people you know (or don’t) on social media. It’s able to perform a phone number search and link you with social media profiles attached to the number, and if you’d prefer to go the extra mile, try an email lookup.

Once you know your employees’ social media handles, you don’t need to keep constant watch over them. In fact, you can just set an alert on each handle, in case they start trending for good or bad. The point is to stay ahead of any possible public relations crisis before the media sets the narrative for your company.

Spokeo Employee Search PR (2)

One good thing is that your searches are anonymous, so your employees can’t discover your activities on the site. Next, having your employee’s handles can yield pretty awesome results. Take the issue of using private mobile phones at work.

Employees these days use their private phones for work and personal purposes. The law’s a bit vaguer when it comes to examining private devices, so except for restricting distracting sites or collecting phones during work hours, there’s not much else you can do. Note that restricting a couple of sites will only work if your worker uses work internet. But they’ll most probably have their own mobile data. What do you do when your employee’s within a restricted video surveillance area (like a bathroom) and doesn’t come out for hours? Yeah, people do that. Knowing their social media handles can help you track their online activities in moments like this – like when they last signed in. If they just asked for “sick” days but are instead riding a merry-go-round, you might be able to find traces on their online activity on the social media accounts you discover using Spokeo.


Proper supervision is about protecting the assets and integrity of your firm. And while traditional surveillance method might help when employees are within your building, reverse phone lookups that help you trace their online personality are more suitable in this digital age.

Valerie Malecha is a content writer for Spokeo. Her main interests are traveling, meeting new people and trying something new. She is experienced in marketing, business, travel, and technology topics.

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