You’ve heard of malware and ransomware. Now, it’s time to learn a new term: Bossware. Don’t worry. Bossware isn’t a new type of hacking software you need to worry about. It’s actually something that you can use to your advantage.
Essentially, bossware is a type of software designed for the world of remote work. It gives business leaders the ability to see how productive their employees are through surveillance technology.
The invasive nature of Bossware makes it a controversial technology. While many organizations have adopted this tool, others are hesitant and concerned about breaching employee privacy.
Below, we’ll give you a detailed overview of what bossware is, the concerns that surround it and how to use the technology productively.
Where did bossware come from?
Bossware is a product of the hybrid world of work. When people worked in the office day in and day out, employers could see how their people were doing. It was easy to tell who was stressed, overworked, or slacking. Now, though, employers have lost this visibility with most people working remotely.
This means that it is challenging to understand how employees are doing. Many business leaders fear their employees secretly watching Netflix while on the clock! While a culture of trust and transparency can go a long way to reduce this fear, some companies think that’s not enough.
Enter Bossware: a tool that gives employers direct visibility into how their employees work from home. Bossware usage has soared over the past year. Express VPN found that 75% of businesses used Bossware to review their employees’ performance when working from home in 2021.
What is Bossware?
Bossware is a piece of software that you can install on your employees’ laptops and mobile phones. The software gives you the ability to see everything that your employees get up to: how long they work for, the applications they engage with, the websites they use and the people they speak to.
Leading bossware solutions use data analytics and artificial intelligence to make surveillance intelligent. They can be configured to understand your employees’ expected work patterns, giving you the ability to see if anyone is working when they should or shouldn’t be. The most advanced of these solutions even utilize key-logging so you can see what your employees are typing – even their passwords!
Naturally, the invasive nature of Bossware means it has some critics. While, in theory, Bossware is a tool to improve productivity, it can also breach employee privacy. Here are the positives and negatives to be aware of:
Positives of Bossware
- Bossware gives you a deeper understanding of employee work patterns in the remote world, so you can ensure that employee workloads are balanced equally
- Bossware can assist your people with invoicing thanks to its hour tracking functionality, which makes it easy to see how employees have spent their time
- When employees know they are being watched, they are more likely to work harder and perform to their best
Negatives of Bossware
- Employees may feel like bossware is a breach of their privacy
- If Bossware is not deployed ethically, it could lead to breaches of compliance laws like GDPR
- Bossware could put undue pressure on employees to work longer hours
- If your employees use their own laptops and mobiles for work, they may disagree to having Bossware installed on these devices.
Should I invest in Bossware?
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to using Bossware. The choice will depend on your company’s values, your relationship with your employees, and your working arrangements.
If you are extremely worried about employee productivity and your people working remotely, then Bossware may make sense for you. However, if you feel that your employees have adapted to hybrid work well, there may be no need to invest in such a solution.
How to use Bossware productively
If you plan to install Bossware on your people’s devices, you need to put a few ground rules in place to ensure responsible and ethical usage. This means prioritizing employee privacy and security. Here are some tips for deploying Bossware responsibly:
- Explain – in writing – about the software you plan to deploy and how it will be used.
- Ensure you explain what data you will store and the precise hours and apps that the software will monitor
- Configure your solution so that it only monitors employees during work hours and only gives visibility into their usage of workplace applications
Boost the productivity of your remote workers!
Start the year more secure and protected by installing the latest solutions to empower your remote workforce to stay productive. Carl’s Computer Care can review your Louisiana company’s current technology arrangements and make recommendations to improve costs and efficiency.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 225-315-3498 or reach us online.