Three months ago, you decided to hire freelance workers because the company was overloaded by data processing work (due to the growth of the company). Today is the last Friday of the month and you have to process the invoices from the freelance workers. The freelance workers are doing an excellent job processing the invoices. The amount of hours used to complete the work, however, increases each month. Last month, the freelancers' timesheets showed they spent an average of 18 hours to go through the data for one client. This month, the freelancers spent an average of 25 hours per account. This is troubling since it took in-house processing 5–7 hours to go through the data for one client. The most inexperienced employee on the team took nine hours to process one client's account.
You discussed the situation with another manager and he suggested using a software program called EyeSpy that takes pictures of freelancers' computer screens and records keystrokes and mouse clicks periodically throughout the day. At the end of each week, you can drill down by worker, examining their productivity to give you an accurate report of who is doing what while on the clock.
- Should the company be allowed to install the EyeSpy software to monitor performance? If not, what other suggestions do you have on finding out why there are variations in the freelancer's timesheet?
- Is it legal for organizations to monitor the performance of the employees without telling them? Why or why not?