Are Businesses Crossing Lines by Tracking Employees?

Nearly 10 years after real-time package- and people-tracking went viral with the advent of GPS-enabled cell phones, small businesses face two big concerns, according to the experts at LiveViewGPS Inc., a provider of mobile phone locate tracking service.

“One is expense. Small businesses, especially those still recovering from the worst recession in modern history, can’t always afford to provide their employees with GPS-equipped smart phones,” says George Karonis, founder and CEO of LiveViewGPS. “The second issue is privacy. People generally don’t want their employer to be a ‘big brother’ boss who can track their every move. It’s not because they’re doing something they shouldn’t, but because it invades their space, and the information could be misinterpreted or misused.”

However, employee-tracking can offer benefits to small business owners:

  • Provide baseline information. It gives businesses solid data to analyze for initiatives such as improving efficiency. Businesses with lots of workers in the field making deliveries or service calls can optimize routes and schedules.
  • Improve customer service and satisfaction. Tracking helps a business tell people waiting somewhere for a delivery or service exactly where their package or service-person is and how long the wait will be.
  • Improve response times. On-site coordinators can re-route workers in the field to respond to unscheduled calls in the most efficient way possible.
  • Reduce costs. The greater efficiency provided by tracking helps lower costs by reducing both downtime and overtime.

According to Karonis, businesses can circumvent affordability and employee privacy concerns by using a service that doesn’t involve extra equipment, such as apps or software, or a contract. In addition, using a service that charges per location, with no requirement for a time-specific contract, is more cost-efficient for the business, he says.

“For the small business that’s merely seeking to improve efficiency and customer service, constant tracking isn’t necessary. That’s more appropriate in a situation where employers have large number of people constantly in the field, for instance, UPS. Or, employers who feel the need to monitor unproductive employees,” he says.

For more information, visit