- A recent update to Slack will provide managers with more usage metrics, such as when users were last active, which device they typically use and how many messages they’ve posted, according to a company announcement.
- The features are now available for Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans. Similar features are also available on Microsoft Teams, which expanded its analytics and reporting capabilities on Oct. 16.
- Workspace and organization owners have the ability to disable these metrics for Slack groups they manage.
In establishing long-term strategies for remote work, companies are thinking of how analytics can impact workforce dynamics. With physical touch points taken away, businesses crave data that can guide decisions around employee efficiency and engagement.
But interest in digital tools that track efficiency speak to whether or not organizations have created a company culture of trust, according to Amy Loomis, research director, Future of Work at IDC.
"In cultures where employees are not trusted, then the assumption is that tracking their Slack behavior acts as a proxy for walking around the office to see who is working and how," Loomis said in an email.
As the role of the CIO expands, the exec's culture-shaping abilities will come into play, especially as work becomes more automated and digitized. CIOs also play a role in overseeing data collected in the workplace.
"Like any tool it depends on how you use it," said Loomis. "In the hands of management leadership where there is a culture of trust, understanding engagement levels helps to identify which factors are contributing to helpful or challenging practices – with the intent of getting employees who are isolated more engaged."
Rather than setting all hopes on technical tools to track productivity, managers need to focus on setting clear expectations with employees, Laura Hamill, chief people officer at Limeade and chief science officer at the Limeade Institute, previously told CIO Dive.
Almost three-quarters of workers say the use of software tools to monitor their productivity would have no impact on how productive they can be, according to a Clutch survey.
Compliance issues come into question when considering employee metrics. Employers using technology to monitor efficiency must create written policy or procedure to shape how data will be used.