Tracking your employee through GPS: work efficiency or lack of privacy?

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Tracking your employee through GPS: work efficiency or lack of privacy?

Given the popularity of GPS tracking, workplace GPS has become a growing trend. One-thirds employees indicate that they are being tracked in workplace. However, both employers and employees are still puzzled by questions like “how employers track employees location?”, “does GPS tracking make employee think about work efficiency or lack of privacy?”, or “what are best practices for GPS tracking?”. If you find yourslef in similar situation, don’t worry. The following part will discuss the pros and cons of employee GPS tracking then you choose the best offer.

How does GPS helps track employees location?

A GPS tracker helps keep a track of your company’s property like vehicle, smartphone or other equipments. For instance, it can accurately record delivery trucks, helping you schedule shipments efficiently. Or it can be used to track an expensive equipment and protect it from being lost or stolen. Tracking employee through GPS can have many benefits for a business.

  • Plan the best route – With the help of GPS tracking, business can know the routes their employees take and provide them with any quicker or better alternatives. They will be able to detect potential obstacles or diversions, finally reducing the risk of wasting time. Drivers also can get GPS device installed on the vehicle, then both you and drivers can discuss any complications and plan the best route.
  • Reduce unnecessary cost – Employee GPS tracking helps reducing fuel expenses. A driver may drive in a way that consumes more fuel and takes longer than expected, leading to higher spends. If business owners want to compare drivers’ driving habits with the expenses, GPS tracking device is your ideal choice.
  • Facilitate employee management – It gives employers ability to evaluate how efficient their drivers are being. You can see if emplpoyee remains at the job site for the whole workday or if they sneak off somewhere. Thus, location data helps inspire employee to work at a higher standard and improve work efficiency.

Some companies may track employee whereabouts with smartphone. The vast majority integrates GPS and WiFi network to pinpoint individual’s exact location. The tracker might be installed on company-issued phones. Whatever the case, GPS tracking improves proudicity and facilitates employee management.

What are potential risks of employee GPS tracking?

As we mentioned before, GPS tracking offers a number of benefits but there are some potential riks. Employees consider GPS tracking as an invasion of privacy especially when they are not aware of their employer’s tracking. For employees, GPS tracking is more of a “spying” behavior, and they inferr that employers don’t trust them. This behavior ultimately have a negative impact on morale.

If you install a GPS tracker on the vehicle or smartphone, any employee using such equipment should be notified that it’s being tracked. Employers should give your reasons and tell how you will use any location data gathered.

What are best practices for employee GPS tracking?

If employers want to employ GPS tracking, you should consider completing the following practices first. Do note that only track employee location during work hours and use GPS for a specific legal reason. The most important thing is to protect location data securely.

  • Research current laws – It’s always advisable to do a research on current local, state or federal laws related to GPS tracking.
  • Track employer-owned assets – Employers are allowed to track an employee using company-owned vehicles or devices, especially when the employee is aware of GPS tracking.
  • Track for business need – As employees might feel offensive at the suggestion of being tracked, employer should only consider performing location tracking to the extent that risk is offset by business need.
  • Develop privacy policy – Any company that tracks employee location should outline the business reasons, when and how employees will be traced and how the employer will use and protect data collected. Make sure you have communicated the policy to all employees.

Closing thoughts

Productivity level is the major concern for business owners. It’s no wonder that they utilize employee GPS tracking and protect company property. It can keep an eye on employee’s movement and help improve work efficiency. In the meantime, it’s an invasion of privacy. If you follow the best practices for GPS tracking and get prior consent, it’s absolutely to track employee location and get benefits.

Carl L. Hirsch is a writer, editor, and journalist. She has been a staff writer in various US-based periodicals for five years. But then she decided to dedicate her life to traveling and freelance writing.

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