ORLANDO, Fla. - Lots of companies are installing tracking software on the devices of their employees while they're working from home. They may not even know it's there and they'd be surprised at the data that it's collecting.
Time Doctor is one of the companies making this software. Their website states that they can help companies up their productivity by 22 percent.
“We use a lot of machine learning to be able to figure out how you can become more productive,” said Liam Martin, Time Doctor’s chief marketing officer.
On the Time Doctor’s website, it states that their software can take screenshots of workers' desktops, monitor their chats, see the apps they use, and websites they visit, alert workers to stay off time-wasting websites, and track their breaks away from the computer. They say lots more firms have started using their software since the pandemic hit.
“Business has definitely increased,” Martin said, “we've been trying to stay ahead of the curve as of right now.”
Orlando tech executive Carlos Carbonell uses basic tracking software to log his company, Echo Interaction Group's, hours. He said it had its place, but he thinks there's a point where workers should push back.
“Employees should start, the minute a company starts tracking them or demanding to use employee tracking software, they should ask what does that entail? Is it mandatory? Should all the features be turned on and incorporated?” Carbonell said.
Attorneys say often a company's fine print allows them to install this software into the devices their workers use at home. Lawrence Walters, from the Walters Law Group, said it was usually legal.
“Unless you have a contract for a specific amount of time to be employed, you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all," he said.
Time Doctor's staff did say that often the data they collected showed that a company's most productive workers were the ones who weren't always tied to their laptops. Walters said it may take a change of state or federal law to keep companies from collecting data on their employees who are working from home.