By Steve Key, Product Marketing Manager.
As hybrid working becomes the norm for employees rather than a nice to have, it continues to throw up challenges and issues for employers as their workforce spreads beyond the bricks and mortar of an office. Can my team work effectively from a non-office location? How many hours are they working? Are we able to support the needs of our customers? And how do we monitor this?
Monitor is the key word here and one that is open to a deal of interpretation. If you’re monitoring someone who is regularly pulling 15 hour days and help them by bringing in an extra pair of hands, that surely is a good thing? But what if an employee routinely joins meetings late, doesn’t contribute and never stays to the end? Should that be questioned? Is that spying?
Treading this line between monitoring and spying could be seen as more subjective, depending on how a business approaches its interpretation of the data. Primarily, a business has the right to know what their employees are doing work hours, but outside of that time frame… well, that’s just spying. We are giving away mountains of personal data to companies via our mobile phones, but largely that is accepted with a shrug in my experience.
There’s a wellbeing question here too, a point our CEO Mark raised on his blog here around overworked employees and the health and financial impact that can have. Burnout and fatigue are key watchouts for employers and the data that Teams provides can help flag potential issues.
Since joining Code in May 2022, I’ve been learning more and more about the data Microsoft Teams spits out and how a business can interpret this information. My previous job was with an organisation that hastily pivoted to Teams at the start of the pandemic, so I was familiar with the idea that my employers could monitor the work done within it, but hadn’t really considered how they could interpret it.
I knew I spent too much of my working week in meetings, but we didn’t have the team to cope with the workload, so it was unavoidable. If a system was in place for my manager to review this type of information, I wouldn’t have had a problem with questions being asked. Did I need to attend all the meetings? Was I contributing to them all? Viva Insights regularly tells me this type info, so why would a manager asking the questions be any difference?
Seeing Clobba users understand their busiest periods of the day for inbound calls and change the number of working agents is just common sense and reacting to customer demand. Why are some agents struggling with call quality feedback scores from customers? A quick check of the devices reveals a list of unverified headsets and a bunch of new tech is ordered to solve this problem.
To me, this is an empowerment piece for businesses and their staff and encouraging them to use the data to make their business and people more efficient and productive. Which can only be a good thing.