employee monitoring can be a win for business owners

Employee Monitoring – A Small Business Win

I wanted to share a story with you.  I’m a small business owner without a lot of time or money on my hands.  I kept noticing that my internet would slow down during the day and that a few of our workstations kept getting infected with viruses and malware.  I was spending all my time trying to figure out what was causing these issues.  That is, until I discussed our issues with Stewart and Son Computer Services.  Here’s what happened…

Internet Slowdowns

On a regular basis, our internet would slow down to almost a stop.  Productivity was being lost and our new videos could not be uploaded.  I asked around and nobody seemed to know what was causing the issues.  The only way I could get around these problems was to schedule my uploads to the middle of the night.

Viruses and Malware

There were one or two of our office computers that kept getting infected with viruses and malware.  We had no idea why this was happening.  The employees who used these workstations claimed that they only used our approved websites and programs.  We educated employees on the dangers of clicking unknown links or opening unknown attachments in emails.  Yet the issues continued.  We were spending hundreds of dollars a month on computer repair and it was bleeding my company dry.

The Recommendation

After one of our visits from Stewart and Son Computer Services, I asked the technician what might be going on.  He listened carefully and suggested that the best way to handle these issues was to sign up for their employee monitoring program.  He suggested real-time monitoring, screenshot captures, time spent on activities, and keystroke logging.  We got started immediately.

To help our employees understand why we were doing this, we discussed a need for more data.  It was our aim to create a culture where everyone performs their best and works together as a team toward a shared goal.  We explained the types of data we would be collecting and why.  They were assured that we trusted them and respected their privacy.

The Findings

After only one week, the Stewart and Son technician called.  He had already found some issues that he wanted to share with us.  We were shocked to find that someone had been accessing our office during the middle of the night to surf porn sites on our workstations.  Checking our security logs, the only people who had been coming in during the night was our janitorial staff.  Additionally, the technician let me know that one of my employees was using an inordinate amount of time on social media sites.  I had suspected for quite some time that this employee was disengaged and now I had proof.  The tech went on to say that they had not noticed the internet slowdowns and would continue to monitor and contact me, but, that if I noticed the slowdowns I should alert them at once.

Shortly after my call with the tech, our internet screeched to a halt.  Within minutes, the technician called.  One of our employees had begun streaming a movie while they were on their break and that was eating up our bandwidth.  As soon as I spoke with the employee they stopped the stream, and our internet returned to normal.  A memo went out that day informing our employees that streaming services, even on break, was not allowed.  We contacted our janitorial contractor and they terminated the employee who had been assigned to us immediately.


While the monitoring did cost us money, we have saved thousands of dollars in lost productivity.  Our staff is aware that streaming while at work is off limits, we have laid off the disengaged employee, and our janitorial company has sent us a new janitor who has our best interests at heart.

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