Updated 2/18/2021. Originally Published 9/24/2015.

Some workplaces require business software tools that record your time. Some examples would be:

  • Skype for Business
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Discord

Whether a non-exempt employee, salaried staff member, virtual worker, or small business owner, be aware that others are watching.  The tool used by your organization may document and note:

  • what time you online
  • how long your “online status” indicates you were unavailable or offline
Away and Unavailable

The software tool captures how long “you are away” versus when you are “available” and  “logged in” during working hours.  There may be valid reasons that the software tools cause you to appear “offline” or “not available”, such as:

  • notifications turned off to complete a deadline-induced project
  • training workshops
  • project meetings, virtual or offsite
  • working out at the company approved gym
  • printing at the local coworking space
  • running business errands

More importantly, they are sharing this information informally.  Sooner or later, your manager will be made aware, whether directly or indirectly.

Actionable steps

If needed, keep detailed documentation regarding projects for which you have responsibilities, as well as your participation.  Track and log the details of meetings attended (virtually or in-person.  Maintain a personal spreadsheet or timesheet of your working hours.  Independently, confidentially, and consistently.

A consistent communication tool to the appropriate project team or manager such as a dashboard documenting progress or a status report can accomplish this goal as well. Lastly, designing and providing a consistent communication vehicle to your project team or project manager, such as a dashboard, documents your consistent availability, tasks completed and progress.

Excerpt from “11 Tips Your Manager May Not Share“.