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Prioritizing Privacy with ActivTrak: The Employeeware Alternative

Learn how ActivTrak’s unique features and functionality are ethically and strategically designed to serve as employeeware, not bossware.

By Sarah Altemus and Productivity Lab

Blocks stacked to form a lock to symbolize employee privacy.

The prevalence of workforce analytics solutions increased in direct response to new remote and hybrid workplace dynamics. Technology research firm Gartner estimates that 60 percent of large employers use tools to track employee activity, and the number is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2025 - more than double pre-pandemic levels. 

AI-driven software, like ActivTrak, sits quietly in the background, capturing digital activity data around how employees interact with the tools at their disposal. While ActivTrak is committed to using the least invasive approaches available, many organizations feel anxious about deploying this type of software and the implications around employee privacy and culture. This discomfort is often strongest among individual contributors who are understandably skeptical of the range of solutions included under the collective, colloquial term bossware

Luckily, it is possible to have visibility into employee productivity and engagement without encroaching on privacy and trust across the workforce. Increasingly, leaders need to also ensure compliance with newly passed data privacy laws (such as GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California) designed to protect personally identifiable information (PII). Accounting for everything from micro PII to macro privacy standards and regulations, ActivTrak takes a more empathetic, human-centric approach and is a far departure from surveillance-centric bossware. ActivTrak’s unique features and functionality are ethically and strategically designed to serve as employeeware

The ActivTrak difference

ActivTrak was designed with trust, transparency, privacy, compliance and security top of mind to focus on the collection of contextual data and avoid intrusive employee monitoring techniques. We intend to better understand how to improve overall productivity and business outcomes through secure, responsible, empowering and ethical use of data intelligence built for a modern workplace.

How ActivTrak ensures employee data privacy 

ActivTrak delivers privacy-first workforce analytics to safeguard privacy and confidentiality without the loss of any productivity insights. We do not support intrusive data collection via keystroke logging, camera access, video recording, email reading or counting. We turn the highest level of data privacy on by default to prevent collecting any personal or sensitive user data. 

What does data privacy by default actually mean? In short, it safeguards employee privacy and personal data. We exclude sensitive data and non-business activity from reporting. 

How ActivTrak empowers employees through data access 

Employeeware features and benefits, beyond default account level settings, include one of our most popular dashboards, Personal Insights. Developed specifically for the individual employee to better understand how they work, Personal Insights contains the greatest hits from all Insights Dashboards. When shared, Personal Insights can help individuals design their day, maximize their time and improve their work experience. Insight into personal work habits can help employees develop critical skills for professional development. Having visibility into digital habits can help individuals make informed decisions in areas that can reduce stress and inefficiencies for more sustainable productivity. When onboarding new customers, we encourage managers to subscribe employees to their Personal Insights report for transparency and to accelerate positive change. 

Supporting a culture of transparency and trust

First and foremost, education about how workforce analytics will be used is essential to support an organization’s ability to gain acceptance and preserve trust with employees. We recommend being transparent with employees about the intent, use and benefit of workforce analytics for improved productivity, healthier work habits and greater engagement.

It’s important for leaders to set the tone at the top and share what’s being collected with their organization, why it’s being collected and how it’s going to be used – sharing findings along the way. A shared understanding of how the data can help each employee personally leads to better outcomes for the company as a whole.

Workforce analytics is a win-win for all

At ActivTrak, we’re focused on providing our customers privacy-first analytics with insight, not oversight. We highlight positive patterns to empower employees with the flexibility to do their best work and reduce burnout and frustration — leading to better outcomes for everyone.

Learn more about ActivTrak’s privacy-first analytics here or request a demo with one of our experts.

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