I’ve done a considerable number of these projects over the last decade. I’ve learned a lot. Let me condense those lessons.
The complications around this are largely trust and culture, not technical. Purely through their presence, these systems erode organizational trust, security, and effectiveness. If they were to be abused in any way - and they often are - the problem becomes orders of magnitude worse.
I always reply to this request with a multi-hour, in person, meeting where we outline the goals of the org, and the effects of these types of systems on those goals. Normally we don’t proceed further.
If we do proceed, the effective usages of these systems are always surrounded in good ethics, policies, and communication. Here is what this typically looks like:
Build an ethics policy and keep it on file that establishes firm limits on what the system can and can not be used for. Typically this communicates that it will not be used to snoop, pass judgement, or measure perceived efficiency.
Build an access policy and keep it on file that establishes who can use the system. Typically it is restricted to only the HR manager and IT manager, with the later being restricted to system maintenance. Never let it be accessible to any of the lead leadership staff. Never.
Require all requests for data be requested through a visible and documented chain.
Make it an immediate firing offense to break these policies.
Have an all-hands meeting to announce what you are doing and field the ethics concerns which will arrise. Be prepared with good answers.
Have each of your staff sign a monitoring consent form. Make it part of your onboarding going forward.
If you aren’t ready to do all of the above, you are setting yourself up to loose more than you could possibly gain. If the above conversations make you uncomfortable, you shouldn’t do it. But if your need is big enough to justify the effort, then you should use a great tool. I like ActivTrak
Feel free to reach out for more in depth conversations.