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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11248
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am COO of a medium size business and a year ago we recently

Customer Question

I am COO of a medium size business and a year ago we recently let a few employees work from home 3 days/week. Now I have 2 employees who I question if they are actually working - it does not seem that their output or results are sufficient. Is there a way I can check to see if they are actually working while at home?
It would be difficult to check on them technically, as they use their own home wifi and cell phones while at home, and I don't have access to their email as they use gmail. They are good at excuses and at hitting any metrics put in place, e.g. if you say make x calls/day they will make exactly that, but I don't think they're doing it. that's what makes me think I would like to see what they are actually doing while at home (and if they are in fact at home on the days they are supposed to be working there)
thank you!
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. There are many things you can do to address this kind of problem. Here are some suggestions: - Require employees to submit end of the day reports detailing what they worked on for the day - Require the use of company email accounts for all official business communications. This will enable you to access their email accounts to see what they are actually working on. - Start using a cloud service for the storage of all digital files. Any time a file in the cloud is modified, the cloud service will create a record of that. You can look at the cloud "record" at the end of the day to see exactly what documents were modified, created, etc. Check out Dropbox.com as one example of a cloud service. - Purchase webcams and require your employees to "video conference" once or even multiple times a day. Ultimately, there is no way to 100% prevent employees from slacking off. At a certain point, you need to be able to trust your staff. If you have employees you do not trust, you may wish to consider replacing them with ones you can trust. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed aby these communications.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
These are all great common sense, but I was hoping for more of a legal answer. Our CRM does record each employees actions, but they have to log in to use it and these 2 employees have a lot of excuses for not recording all their actions - typically "I called about 30 clients, but didn't log it into the system because I like to batch record everything on Fridays" or something like that. I have just inherited these employees from another manager who obviously looked the other way on this. Going forward, if they don't log their activity into the system daily I will consider it not done. Over time, I could use this as a basis to terminate their employment for not doing their work. However, this takes time. Since I am positive that they are spending much of their time on their home days on something other than work (e.g. doing another job, interviewing for another job), I am looking for a legal way that I could verify that they are not working (tangibly) and terminate their employment for cause.I would like to address it quickly.
Thank you!
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply. I do realize that my answer above was more practical than legal, but I'm not sure how else to answer the question as you aren't really asking a legal question here, you are essentially just asking what you can do to keep better track of your employees. Do you mean to ask whether you can secretly video tape or record your employees while they are working at home? If you don't mean that, did you have something else in mind that you would like me to comment on the legality of? If you give me more of a "legal" question I'm happy to provide more of a legal answer, but right now I don't know how to do that. I look forward to your reply....

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