50 Percent of Small Business Owners Think Monitoring Staff Conversations is a Good Idea, According to GetApp Research

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New research identifies that half of small business owners either already monitor internal staff conversations, or think that they would like the option.

Visual representation of data from the GetData research, asking if small business owners want to monitor their staff conversations

50 percent of small business owners monitor, or would like to monitor, staff conversations

Some will argue that chat monitoring is an invasion of privacy, while others will say it’s any business owner’s right.

GetApp, the largest cloud-based business apps marketplace, has released new research identifying the extent to which small and medium-sized business owners monitor their staff’s conversations on internal chat applications. According to the research, just over 27 percent of the research panel claim to check staff conversations, but only on an ‘occasional’ basis or ‘for specific incidents’. A further 12.6 percent monitor conversations on a regular basis, while 10.2 percent say that they don’t have the possibility to monitor staff chats, but would like the option.

The research, based on responses from a panel of 500 small and medium-sized business owners, was conducted as part of GetApp’s independent research program, GetData. The program aims to fully understand the true impact of SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud-based solutions on small and medium-sized businesses, while also understanding how SaaS customers interact with their products and services.

Although half of the panel claims to monitor staff conversations in some way, just over 20 percent of respondents say that not only are they not able to monitor staff conversations, but that they would never want the option. A further 16.2 percent say that they do have the possibility to check up on what their staff members are saying, but choose not to.

Christophe Primault, co-founder and CEO of GetApp, says, “Whether or not management is monitoring internal conversations is probably something that every company staff member asks themselves at some point. What this latest research shows is that although 50% of small business owners do claim to monitor conversations, it’s often in isolated incidents and not necessarily on a continual basis. Some will argue that chat monitoring is an invasion of privacy, while others will say it’s any business owner’s right. Whatever the answer, it’s clear that the ability to do so is pervasive and not a feature that software providers are offering in vain.”

Full survey details:

Answers to the question “Tell us what is most true regarding the amount of access you have to your staff’s conversations on internal chat tools:”

#1: I don’t have access and I don’t want it (20.8%)
#2: I have access but never monitor conversations (16.2%)
#3: I only look at conversation for specific incidents (14.6%)
#4: N/A (13%)
#5: I occasionally check conversations (12.6%)
#6: I have access to conversations and monitor regularly (12.6%)
#7: I don’t have access but would like the feature (10.2%)

Demographics: 500 US-based respondents from a panel of business owners between the ages of 25 and 54 with an average inferred annual income of between $49-$150k+.

More about GetApp: GetApp is an online marketplace for cloud-based business apps, specializing in helping small and medium-sized businesses find, research, and get in touch with business app providers from over 100 software categories. GetApp's Europe office is based in Barcelona, Spain, and the US office is in San Francisco, CA.

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