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By Alberto Jessurun / January 5, 2022 / Blog

Can Video Surveillance Improve Productivity?

Businesses can incorporate cameras for more than just security. Video surveillance tactics are being implemented to monitor operations and productivity as well.

Key Takeaways
  • A third of employees are under surveillance in the workplace
  • The benefits of video surveillance in the workplace include better security, more accountability, and productivity
  • Risks include invading workers’ privacy, making them feel constantly watched and uncomfortable, and data security
  • Practicing transparency and explaining why you’re using video monitoring can help workers understand and feel comfortable with it, leading to more productivity and trust 
The pandemic has caused global shifts in the way people work and businesses operate. One of the biggest priorities for business leaders has become ensuring that productivity remains high, whether teams are remote or working back in the office. 

Monitoring techniques like digital tracking and video surveillance have become commonplace. While monitoring can have both positive and negative impacts on employees, when implemented the right way, it can improve efficiency, encourage transparency, and even boost productivity. Here’s a look at how businesses are using video monitoring and the pros and cons of using it in the workplace.

How businesses use video surveillance

Video surveillance is a common way employers keep track of what workers are doing throughout the day, along with digital monitoring techniques that may be installed on devices. A third of employees are under surveillance in the workplace, and 82% of managers use some kind of electronic monitoring at work, according to a report from the American Management Association.

Video monitoring allows employers to ensure people are staying on task, measure efficiency, gather workplace data, improve security, and encourage better output. Any business considering implementing surveillance at work should carefully consider the pros and cons before making the investment.

Benefits of video surveillance in the workplace

Benefits of using video surveillance in the workplace include enhanced security and theft deterrence, but it can also boost accountability and productivity for employees. You can view how processes are working and identify any areas that need additional resources or employees who need more training and support. Video surveillance can also provide valuable insights for leaders, so they can make decisions based on historical data.

For retailers, video surveillance can show business leaders how shoppers behave and how staff members interact with them. In office settings, employees can be monitored to ensure they’re always upholding business values and staying on track throughout the day.

When employees know they are being monitored, they’re more likely to stay focused on work and waste less time during the workday. Cameras give them an incentive to maintain great performance and show management that they’re hard workers. Employers can track information like when people arrive at work or log in, what they’re working on, and how much time they’re taking to complete a task. Then, any fixes can be implemented to improve workflows.

Risks of video surveillance in the workplace

First, consider the costs of implementing a video surveillance system in the workplace. You’ll need to factor in how many cameras you need and ensure that everything aligns with your business budget. 

There may also be privacy issues with cameras at work, since monitoring workers is a bit trickier than monitoring, say, a retail establishment 24/7. Some states have privacy laws that limit the use of cameras in certain areas of a workplace. You may also want to consider getting written consent from employees to be monitored, so they don’t feel surprised or uncomfortable.

Employees may feel that installing cameras solely to monitor what they’re doing is invasive. They may feel like you don’t trust them, and it could breed negative feelings about the business and work in general. They may become more stressed out when they feel like they’re being watched all day. 

The key to avoiding these negatives is to implement cameras the right way. Consider using them for more than just the purpose of monitoring. Emphasize to workers that they also are being used for their own protection. Don’t install cameras in areas where employees take breaks, like lunchrooms, break rooms, restrooms, or changing areas. Limit the use of cameras to only the places where you really need them, which will also help you save on costs.

Also, make sure that you communicate to employees honestly about the purpose of surveillance. Did something occur previously that you are trying to prevent? It may be helpful to deliver statistics or research to workers about how cameras can boost productivity. This lets them know that you aren’t just trying to watch their every move, just incite focus and improve the efficiency of the work environment.

Gartner reported that when employers shared exactly what they were monitoring and why, over half of workers were comfortable with it.

You may want to incorporate video footage in employee training, too. Show them how you’re using it and how it improves processes instead of limiting what they can do. 

Finally, make sure you’re following all regulations about what you’re doing with the video content. A report from Accenture found that 52% of workers believe that mishandling data damages trust. You need to keep everything secure, and no one should have access to it who doesn’t have the right to view it. Implement security measures so that footage is never at risk.

How to find the right surveillance tools

The bottom line is that video surveillance can improve your workplace and boost productivity, as long as you’re always transparent and it is being used reasonably. Make sure employees never feel like you are infringing on their space or privacy, or else surveillance could have the opposite effect of what you’re hoping for. 

Finding the right video surveillance products is easy with Unisol International. We specialize in electronic security, telecom, professional audio/video distribution, and turnkey deployment. Our online catalog is easy to browse through to find the products you need for your business. We always ensure compliance with trade regulations, export licenses, and regulatory issues.

Contact Unisol International today to learn more about our products and technology solutions.

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