Transparency and individual privacy: Where does your company stand?

Companies now have access to tools capable of providing meaningful data regarding the collective production and rumblings of employees; figures outlining time spent and items addressed, including details on staff involved and their whereabouts throughout. And sometimes, more.

But in seeking transparency, where does individual privacy stand in the workplace? As David Streitfeld questions in his New York Times piece on the new role of “data-crunching” in corporate time management, “How much can bosses ratchet up intensity?”

And if the desired result is a stronger company – an environment where both the corporate community and its outputs are in support of improved productivity – perhaps we should instead ask, “How can executives run their companies most effectively while preserving individual privacy and company culture?”

At Openhour, we believe the activity of individual employees should be disclosed only by choice. Full stop.

Additionally, we’ve found executives can better assess and understand the workings of their organization leveraging aggregate data that preserves employee privacy. The best of both worlds.

Our productivity management platform, TimeTracker, permits users to automatically capture their daily professional efforts, producing a fully editable timesheet and associated productivity analytics that can only be accessed and submitted by the individual user; only following user timesheet submission can management review an individual’s timesheet.

With Openhour’s approach in TimeTracker, we’ve proven the value in anonymized, aggregate data. Management staff are able to view analytics at a high-level across the organization using Openhour’s platform, providing clarity to project progress and overall productivity, while maintaining morale among staff who might otherwise feel overwhelmed by unnecessary oversight.

As we begin to contemplate the bounds of “intensity” in the workplace, we hope people consider the impact of privacy infringement. With Openhour, organizations can effectively monitor time spent and tasks completed, while ensuring staff are respected.

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