Why You should monitor your employees

Computers and the Internet offer unprecedented possibilities to office workers. However, most employers would be hard pressed to deny use of company computers and the Internet for non-work related purposes.


With wide adoption of social networking, blogging, online gaming, video sharing etc. the list of temptations for non related work sites keeps on growing. Research shows that the average employee spends between one and two hours each day using their computer and the Internet for personal reasons. Other studies show that up to 40% of all Internet activity is not work-related and almost 70% of all web traffic to adult sites occurs during work hours (9a.m. to 5p.m.). There are no surprises that employee monitoring and surveillance is a fast growing industry.

I trust my employees

Trust is not an issue here – you simply have a right and obligation to know how employees are using company provided computers. Employees are monitored for multiple reasons: legal liability, security concerns, compliance, and for productivity and performance.

Legal Liability

Inappropriate use of computers, e-mail or the Web could result in internal harassment and discrimination claims by employees involuntarily subjected to offensive content at the hands of co workers.

Productivity and Performance

Monitoring solutions dramatically decrease non work related computer usage, cutting productivity drain. After introducing our monitoring solution, things like gaming and excessive or inappropriate web browsing usually just stop. If not you then have the evidence to take appropriate action.

Research undertaken shows an immediate reduction in non-work related activities; 70% as an industry average. Of course this number differs as many organizations permit some non-work related use of computers, web and e-mails. However there is a still a huge difference in terms of the productivity and professional work climate between monitored environments and those that are left unchecked.

Security Concerns

Inappropriate employee computer use is one of the common sources of security problems. These problems and threats are ranging from e-mail viruses and web Trojans to more serious violations such as information disclosure or information theft. Employee monitoring and secure usage data archiving is crucial for investigating violations and preventing such threats.


Many employees are monitored to meet Government, Industry, or Agency compliance requirements. For example, most of the current Data security laws have effectively elevated the privacy and safety of client information above the privacy expectations of employees.


Many companies allow telecommuting (working from home or from remote offices) to stay flexible when dealing with bad weather driving conditions, virus scares or outbreaks and other office emergencies. Telecommuting is also very useful for organizations with mobile workforces.

This flexibility does come at a price: it is very difficult to tell how much work was actually done while an employee was working from home or a remote office.

Hebbian View employee monitoring solution ensures that telecommuting doesn’t come at the cost of your company’s productivity. Hebbian View supports semi-connected mode, so monitoring data for both working from home and travelling users are uploaded to the Hebbian View servers when available, which allows managers to stay in control of telecommuting activities.

What do we do differntly?

Most of the existing employee monitoring software solutions branded as “business” or “enterprise” have their roots in the consumer monitoring products. Employee monitoring software can produce detailed record of the user activity: show visited web sites, e-mails and documents; it is also typically associated with keystroke logging and screen capturing techniques. Most of these solutions are also praised for their stealth i.e. monitoring tools can be installed and running on the user's computer absolutely undetected, featuring variety of technologies commonly found in spyware.

If you are a concerned parent trying to monitor your childeren's online presence on a home computer - all these qualities are good and useful. However, the spyware DNA of your monitoring tools may become a significant problem if you are a manager or HR person trying to keep you employees in check. When deployed on the business network such "monitoring tools" can just as easily be used to spy on people and can create pretty unhealthy work environment.

Hebbian View origin is different. It was developed as an enterprise knowledge management solution, so it cannot be used as a spying tool.

Since most of the violations are related to inappropriate Web browsing we will use Internet activity monitoring as an example. These days almost every organization has firewalls that provide detailed log of the web sites visited by the employees. This is a normal practice and nobody generally complains about invasion of privacy in this scenario. Hebbian View Recording Client uses our patent pending technology to estimate how much time and efforts user spent on particular page without going into keystroke and screenshot recording. As a result we produce the same report the firewall does, but with actual amount of time and efforts user spent on each site and page. Paired with web site classification service this data allows management to quickly see the general picture and stay in control, while maintaining almost the same level of workplace privacy.

Hebbian View is not limited to web monitoring. It can also track office and LOB desktop applications, e-mails and more. We limit monitoring to usage data rather than the contents of documents, web pages and e-mails and provide scalable and secure enterprise-ready solution for the employee monitoring that properly balances surveillance with workplace privacy.

Related Products

Hebbian View Standard is a software product designed to boost your employee’s performance by properly balancing surveillance with workplace privacy.

Hebbian View Online is a web hosted (cloud computing) service with many features of Hebbian View Standard.

Why Hebbian?

  • We don’t present controversial statistics, we measure and show the real effort – your own and your team’s.
  • We are not a policing or micro-managing application, we give businesses tools to succeed
  • We help to keep track of billable time
  • We don’t block Web sites based on key words, we let manager see sophisticated productivity reports and be in control
  • We have multi-level secure, encrypted solution with digitally signed records
  • We use our proprietary patent pending Attention Tracking technology
  • We provide exceptional North American customer service
  • We give free lifetime updates and upgrades

Employee Monitoring Checklist

  • State the goals and specific business purposes for monitoring
  • Clearly state the ownership of company computers, networks, files and e-mail
  • Define and communicate your policy for the online communications and web surfing: what is considered illegal, prohibited and unacceptable.
  • Clearly define the acceptable use of company computers, networks and e-mail
  • Set clear boundaries for the personal use of company computers, networks and systems
  • Inform employees of the specific types of monitoring activities and establish their expectations of privacy
  • Explain benefits for the company, clients and employees
  • Determine the consequences for policy violations

Is Monitoring Legal?

Employee monitoring is perfectly legal, but the extent of the monitoring and surveillance techniques are regulated by the appropriate laws.

U.S. employers can be confident that electronic employee monitoring will in most cases receive the sanction of state and federal law. However, companies outside of U.S. and multinational employers face a potentially difficult task in complying with more stringent privacy protection laws of other countries. For example, in some countries it is illegal to perform intrusive monitoring, such as reading an employee's e-mails, unless it can be shown that it is a necessary precaution and there are no other alternatives.

As an employer, you should read the appropriate law that covers employee workplace privacy if you want to understand the legalities of employee monitoring.

U.S.A.: The most relevant federal law: 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Employee monitoring and Privacy FAQs

Canada: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for both public and private sectors.

EU: Electronic employee monitoring is currently at the forefront of public debate in the EU precisely because of the prominence of employee privacy rights under European law (Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC). Companies should approach employee monitoring on a country-by-country basis in the EU.

Australia: Employee monitoring is permitted by the "employee records exemption", which was introduced to the federal Privacy Act 1988 when it became applicable to the private sector in 2001

Hebbian View has many features engineered to enable compliant employee monitoring solution for different markets. Hebbian View is based on our patent pending attention tracking technology and it limits monitoring to usage data rather than the contents of documents, web pages and e-mails. It contains configurable anonymizer filters that remove or mask any employee private information, data retention period is adjustable and Hebbian View Recording Clients can be centrally turned off and on to provide spot checks rather than continuous monitoring.