Neuways’ MD Martin Roberts’ thoughts on controversial tracking software

Business Insights

An increase in working from home, has brought with it a wave of software that allows a business to snoop in and check what their employees are up to. From invasive webcams to screenshotting a user’s screen throughout the day, there are many bad examples of this that many are using.

We decided to ask our Managing Director, Martin Roberts, for his thoughts on these technologies, what he’d suggest as an alternative and the challenges of working from home:

“One of the technologies that has been in the press lately, is software that takes screenshots as the user sits in front of their screen, watching what they’re doing at that point in time.

“When I first heard of it I thought, ‘How awful’. An expression I often use is, ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. This is one of those technologies, which as a co-owner of a business, I’d be really disappointed if I felt the need to do this, because it would show that there’s a lack of trust between the business and our people.

“Unfortunately, if a business spends resources on checking on its own people to make sure they are doing the jobs they were employed to do, it means there is a disconnect somewhere. Any money you want to spend on IT and technology right now, in particular, should be spent on defending your business from bad people, external hackers and scammers, rather than defending your business from your own people, because that’s effectively what you’re doing.

“At the moment, we are all continually learning by changing our habits to working from home. I was recently phoned three times and each time I missed the call as I was in another room, it was just unfortunate timing, but they were beginning to think I was ignoring them. It shows if you judged somebody by looking at three screenshots from throughout the day and they happened to be away from their screen, you could get the wrong impression quite easily.

“We have measures in our business, that help us to understand how our team are getting on. Targets are set managing how quickly we answer the phone, respond and close helpdesk calls, as well as our customer satisfaction rating. They work well for us, we check them on a general macro level to see that the business is heading in the right direction, and then only if we see a spike in performance, will we dip into the detail. We’ll try and understand if someone’s having a challenging time on a certain phone call, or they could be having a tough time in their personal life. We'll help them out by communicating and trying to solve the problem with them, which is the right way to do it, rather than spying on people.

“Increase communications if you feel somebody is struggling, go about it in the right way. Set targets, at a group level, macro level and company level and making sure you work towards achieving those targets together! Offer what help you can in making sure those targets are understood and how the company can go about achieving them, that’s the best way forward.”

Martin Roberts is Managing Director of Neuways. If you require any help with web security, please visit: