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Beware of “Performance Spying” on Remote and Hybrid Employees

Remote and hybrid models are a huge paradigm shift for leaders used to depending on optics (such as observed time in the office) as a way to determine an employee’s performance rather than outcomes and results. When that mind shift isn’t successfully made, the old command and control approach takes over and the result is online micromanaging to the point of using surveillance monitoring tools to track employees’ every move and time-punched hour.

The immediate question is why. There isn’t a more telling red flag of a toxic culture where distrust prevails, and such actions will not rescue you from the low performer. They will only alienate your best people.

In a study commissioned by ExpressVPN, in collaboration with Pollfish, 2,000 employers and 2,000 employees who work in a remote or hybrid capacity were surveyed to reveal the extent of employer surveillance and how it is impacting employees. Their findings noted that more than half of employees said they are likely to quit if their company and/or boss uses surveillance measures, and one-quarter would take a pay cut to avoid these tools. Being subjected to monitoring will add so much unnecessary weight to your top performers’ Requirements side of their 3-R scale, they will eventually leave because of it.


  • Trust, trust, trust

  • Extra, positive attention

  • A say in the remote and hybrid policies

  • Resources needed to achieve their goals

  • Equal opportunity to express and be heard

  • Clear digital rules: formal and informal

  • Dependable technology

  • Collaboration software

  • Continual feedback: positive and constructive

  • Opportunities to casually connect with coworkers

  • Meetings with a purpose

  • Easy, non-bureaucratic processes and policies

  • Performance management-based results and outcomes

Merrylue Martin is the author of The Big Quit Survival Guide. The book describes how to retain your best people, how to wow the best new hires and deal with the challenges of remote and hybrid workers, and gives you access over 30 printable Survival Tactics to immediately act upon!


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