American workers are generally opposed to their workday productivity being monitored by employers — although 30% think their employer tracks their active and idle working time during the workday.
A new YouGov poll conducted from August 25 - 29 — after the New York Times published a report on workplace monitoring software — shows that Americans are more likely to oppose (48%) than support (36%) employers tracking the active and idle working time of their employees. People who work full-time or part-time jobs are similarly likely to oppose such oversight compared to Americans overall (47% oppose, 39% support). This shifts when it comes to managers, however. Most Americans (55%) who have at least one person who works directly for them support employers monitoring their staff in this way.
Half of Americans (51%) say that — employers should be able to monitor employees' electronic activity on company devices — as long as it's disclosed up-front. But people are more split on whether employers should be able to monitor workers' physical activity or location on company property: 37% of adults say employers should be able to do this, while 34% say they should not. Majorities of workers who believe that their working time is currently being monitored by their employer say the tracking of electronic (65%) and physical activity (57%) should be permitted. Workers who do not believe they are currently being monitored are less likely to say electronic (52%) or physical monitoring (34%) should be allowed.
One-third (34%) of American workers who are younger than 45 say they think their employer tracks their working time, compared to 26% of American workers who are 45 and older — adding up to 30% of workers overall who think so. And perhaps these 30% of employees are onto something: 29% of American workers who have someone reporting to them say they track their employees' active and idle working time during their workday.
— Taylor Orth, Oana Dumitru, and Carl Bialik contributed to this article
This poll was conducted on August 25 - 29, 2022 among 1,000 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this poll.None