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Can your company control and supervise your remote work activity through telematic means?

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Can your company control and supervise your remote work activity through telematic means?

According to the provisions of Article 22 of Law 10/2021, of July 9, on telecommuting (hereinafter, “Telework Law”), the company shall have the power to adopt the surveillance and control measures it deems most appropriate in order to verify the employee’s compliance with his or her work obligations and duties, including the use of telematic means, taking into consideration in its adoption and application the respect for the dignity of the person concerned and taking into account, where appropriate, his or her personal circumstances, such as, for example, the presence of a disability.

What corporate control measures are companies using to control remote work?

Companies are using numerous control measures through the implementation of software or the use of tools and platforms to monitor employee productivity or performance while working remotely. 

In this sense, it is worth mentioning here softwares such as Effiwork which aims to measure productivity through the automatic monitoring of each user, work team or project, helping companies to manage employees and daily workload. 

There are also other tools for monitoring and organizing the workday that have become popular as a result of the pandemic caused by Covid19, such as Slack, Google Workspace or Microsoft Teams. 

The first of these tools, Slack, is a platform frequently used in a work environment to enable communication between employees that make up a company. In addition, it allows messages to be organized through channels, creating spaces for projects or specific task lists and allows synchronization with other platforms such as Google Drive.

On the other hand, and in relation to Google Workspace, this Google service or system consists of offering the employee in the same space applications that work with office automation in general and, additionally, provides all these Google products in the same space with a domain name customized by the customer.

Finally, and in addition to the measures indicated above, companies have adopted other complementary measures such as quality surveys, recording of working hours by verifying the employee’s connection hours or distribution of working time and setting specific deadlines. 

Workers’ rights to be taken into account 

Employees who work remotely shall have the same rights as those they had in the face-to-face position, except for what is essential to the latter type of work. 

Therefore, the workers shall be entitled to receive the same remuneration, shall enjoy the same stability and working hours, and shall maintain the same conditions for training and professional promotion. In no case may the telecommuting worker suffer prejudice for performing the work activity from home.

In addition, article 17 of the Telework Law stipulates some limitations to the company control, guaranteeing some rights of the workers, such as the right to privacy and to the protection of their personal data. 

Other points to be taken into account on the control of teleworking 

The Telework Law establishes in its article 18 the right to digital disconnection, so that the worker has the guarantee of being able to enjoy his free time and the company will not be able to install applications or programs in the devices of which the employee is the owner, it will only be possible in the event that the work tools have been provided by the employer, prior notification in this regard. 

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