The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the remote working landscape, with Boris Johnson urging Brits to work from home where possible. By the end of April, it’s estimated that 60% of the UK’s adult population was working from home due to the social distancing measures triggered by the pandemic. Moving forward, experts predict the shift towards remote working could become permanent.
While there are tangible benefits for many individuals and businesses, the increase in remote working comes with its own unique risks. In this post, we’ll look at the most common issues associated with remote working and what you can do to put things right.
Deliberate productivity loss
Working from home has its challenges, with many employees forced to set up a desk at their kitchen tables or juggle childcare commitments. While these are unavoidable issues employers should try to address, some employees take advantage of remote working opportunities to slack off.
If you’ve noticed a sharp loss in productivity since your employee has started working from home, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue. Confronting the employee is the first step. But if your concerns are received with excuses and denials, a private investigator could help you get to the bottom of the issue.
Working from home can often tempt employees to test their luck and hunt down extra work. If your employee is a freelancer, this type of moonlighting is expected. However, if they’re bound by a contract and you suspect they’re completing work for another party while billing your company or collecting a salary, it could be time to launch a private investigation.
Another moonlighting risk can come in the form of employees seeking out work with a similar company. When you’re sharing your staff with competitors, the results can be hugely damaging.
Hiring third parties
Hiring a third party to complete work is one of the most common risks associated with remote employees. If you notice standards slipping or observe a significant change in the quality or style of an employee’s work, it’s possible a third party could be involved.
This sort of behaviour can put your business and its reputation at risk so it’s important to curb it as soon as possible. At the end of the day, if you’re paying an employee to complete work, they should be doing it themselves, unless they have explicit permission to source a third party.
Unjust sick days
Employees are entitled to sick days. However, working from home can often tempt people to take advantage. After all, a day watching Netflix or touring the countryside can be far more enjoyable than a day in front of a computer.
While a few sick days here and there are to be expected, if you’ve noticed a significant increase since your employee has started working from home it could be time to launch an investigation. That’s especially true if they’re a high-earning, high-value employee.
In these sorts of cases, we deploy a private investigator to carry out surveillance on their place of residence and track how they spend their clocked sick days. If they’re picnicking in the park instead of picking up supplies from the pharmacy, we’ll let you know, with photographic or video evidence to prove it.
Keep tabs on your employees with private surveillance
While working from home has empowered many employees with freedom and a healthier work/life balance, others are blatantly taking advantage. This is where private surveillance comes in. Since 2011, we’ve been using mobile, static, electronic and counter surveillance techniques to deliver high-quality, 100% legal intelligence to our clients.
With headquarters in London and Manchester, as well as agents spread across the UK and overseas, our surveillance services are world class. All our agents are recruited from a police or military background and fully trained in all aspects of surveillance, but that’s not all…
Discreet and covert
Launching a private investigation can lead to awkward questions, especially if the employee in question is innocent. That’s why we use tried and tested techniques that allow us to remain 100% covert. Discretion is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, we rely on your target being completely unaware of the investigation as this can alter their behaviour and jeopardise results.
The only way your employee will ever know you’re investigating them is if you tell them yourself or present them with evidence. That means if they’re innocent, you can simply carry on as normal with complete peace of mind.
Fully accredited results
We’re fully aware of the importance of compiling legal, above-board intelligence. That’s why we’re fully registered with the International Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as members of the Association of British Investigators (ABI), Fraud Advisory Panel (FAP) and UK Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN).
To find out more about our qualifications, take a look at our full list of accreditations. We follow a strict code of ethics and underpin our operations with the 10 principles outlined by the Governing Council of the ABI.
- Responsibility and Accountability
- Honesty and Integrity
- Caution and Thoroughness
- Conflict of Interest
- Acting within the Law
- Authority, Respect and Courtesy
- General Conduct
- Challenging and Reporting Improper Conduct
When we deliver results, you can rest assured everything will hold up in a court of law, if necessary.
Time to act
Dealing with issues at the office? As well as investigating work-from-home employees, we also offer hands-on surveillance in the workplace. From getting to the bottom of bullying accusations and tracking the damage caused by wayward employees, to validating worker’s compensation claims and in-depth employee screening, we’re well versed in corporate investigation.
Ready to launch a private investigation? To find out more about how we can help you track your remote employees and find out if your team is actually working, get in touch on 0844-664-1125 or send an email to [email protected].