In our fourth nationwide remote-working survey conducted by YouGov, we delved deeper into how staff feel about the prospect of being monitored while working from home.
Over 2000 workers participated in our survey between 25th February and 5th March 2021. All business sectors and regions across Great Britain were included in the survey.
"Our study sends a clear message - employees in all sectors strongly oppose the use of monitoring software in their homes, even if employers claim that it is required for regulatory compliance. But they're not against monitoring per se, large numbers accept more personal, human approaches to monitoring. We also found a level of mistrust about employers already using such software - companies need to do more to dispel this perception."
YouGov remote-working survey key findings
A. Most employees won't work for employers who remote-monitor
The majority of remote workers would not work for any employer that tried to use remote monitoring software to track their work. Nearly three-fifths (59%) said that they wouldn't work for any employer that tried to use such technology.
B. Even if the monitor is to comply with the law!
A similar fraction (56%) would disagree with its use even if their employer used it enables to comply with laws and regulations.
Only a third (35%) of employees working from home would agree to software monitoring them. However, when employees working on their employer's premises were asked the same question, almost two-thirds (64%) were open to monitoring software, yet in the office.
C. 1 in 10 suspect their employee is monitoring them covertly
8% believe that their employer is using such software without informing them, and this mistrust is even higher in finance (11%), legal (10%) and IT (10%) sectors and in the North of England (10%). Men (10%) are more suspicious than women and over 55s (10%).
D. Managers don't feel homeworking is making compliance harder
Most decision-makers with remote workers at their business don't think that remote working has made staff compliance any more difficult (60%).
They also believe it hasn't led to costly mistakes due to miscommunication (67%). Nevertheless, significant numbers (20%) say that their firms have implemented or are planning to implement online software to monitor remotely working employees.
E. Employees prefer a more human approach to monitoring
A clear majority of home-working employees, as well as those working at their employer's premises, accept human approaches to staff monitoring in large numbers.
- Team or manager check-ins: 58%
- Evaluation of work by a manager: 51%
- Manual timesheet or time tracking: 41%
- Collaborative tools, e.g. MS Teams/Planner, to track workload: 38%
These key findings follow the YouGov / Skillcast survey of employers in November 2020, which found that one in five employers are considering implementing employee monitoring software.
About the YouGov fieldwork
The total sample size of the study was 2,030 workers in Great Britain, of which 1188 were working from home some or all of the time and 700 were working at my employer's premises or site. The fieldwork was undertaken between 25th February and 5th March 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.
Skillcast surveyed WFH workers at various stages of the UK’s lockdown over the past 12 months about their preferences and challenges.
A total of 2,030 employees at companies of all sizes across all business sectors and regions across Great Britain participated in this study conducted by YouGov for Skillcast, the UK’s largest independent corporate compliance e-learning and RegTech provider.
Research conducted by YouGov, 25th February to 5th March 2021
This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.
Emails are sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample. The emails invite them to take part in a survey and provide a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link, they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. (The sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females".)
Invitations to surveys don't expire, and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, industry-accepted data.
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