The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus and the consequent measures of isolation and social confinement led to the generalization of telework. As such, many companies have been forced to restructure and find tools to adapt to this new reality.
The Labour Code considers “teleworking” the labor provision performed with legal subordination, usually outside the company, and through the use of information and communication technologies.
Teleworking isn’t subject to any legislation that regulates remote monitoring of the teleworkers, however, the prohibition on the use of means of remote surveillance, with the aim of controlling the worker’s performance, is fully applicable to the reality of remote work.
Track the performance of workers at a distance
After receiving several questions related to the monitoring of teleworkers’ schedules, the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) has issued a set of guidelines on what the law allows in relation to the control that employers can exercise over the activity of teleworkers.
Avoid tools for remote control not permitted by law
The Commission has clarified that certain “technological solutions for remote control of the performance of the teleworker” are not permitted by law and are considered “disproportionate, breaching various data protection principles”.
Thus, software that, in addition to tracking working time and downtime, records the websites visited, the location of the terminal in real-time, captures images of the desktop, records access to applications, controls the document in which you are working, and automatically records the time spent on each task, are not permitted by law.
The tools that collect excessively and without permission workers’ personal data promote a very detailed monitoring of the employees’ performance that surpasses what can be legitimately carried out on the regular workplace. That is, they establish more obligations to workers at home than when they are working in the company.
Furthermore, employers must not use means of remote surveillance that control the professional activities of the teleworker, nor require them to keep the camera on at all times or record conversations. This would entail an excessive violation of the employee’s private life.
How can the employer control the employee’s performance?
The employer can monitor the performance of the employee by setting goals, creating reporting obligations, or scheduling teleconferences.
Setting goals – The management of employees in remote work should be focused essentially on the results obtained. It’s crucial to set goals and aspirations, create measurable performance indicators, and adapt to this new reality as much as possible.
Create reporting obligations – By establishing a clear definition of performance goals and indicators, you can check whether workers are meeting them and track their progress.
Schedule meetings on a conference call – It’s necessary to ensure communication between all team members. Betting on secure collaboration tools is one way to keep the team spirit alive even in telework.
How to verify that the worker fulfills his schedule and activities?
It’s possible to record working times: the start and end of the workday and the lunch break. However, technological tools used shouldn’t collect “more information than necessary” for this purpose. If there is no access to such tools, the employer may ask the worker to send an email, SMS, or another type of communication to show availability and ensure that the maximum working times allowed by law have not been exceeded.
At this stage of adapting to telework, companies need an efficient tool to manage tasks, projects, professional contacts, calendar appointments, and more. Always safely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR / LGPD).