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Workplace productivity is a key performance for any business employing knowledge workers. However, with the increasing amount of content made available online, computer users are often distracted from fulfilling their roles in respective business processes and are constantly drawn to unproductive, time-consuming activities. On the other hand, the resources needed for increasing amount of jobs often are online, thus making the restriction or complete banning of Internet access an unfeasible solution for business-owners and managers. Moreover, as shown in (Coker, 2009), allowing up to 15% of time for leisure browsing at the office can actually improve overall productivity by 9%.
While other solutions for tracking worker activity exist, they often overload managers and system administrators with immense lists of visited websites for each user, making it almost impossible to discern who is productive and who isn’t. Moreover, existing solutions such as keylogging and screenshot retrieval often risk to needlessly sacrifice the users’ right to privacy in order to measure productivity
TimeOP is built to automatically asses productivity over the whole set of used application, presenting only relevant data and conclusions to authorized parties. Additionally, user privacy is protected to a large degree since private content, such as passwords, typed text and conversations with third parties is never acquired, stored or revealed.
Therefore, the presented solution does not disrupt the users’ workflow, protects user privacy, while providing managers, business-owners and even the users themselves with relevant conclusions and visualizations on productivity.
Moreover, TimeOP aims at surrounding workplace productivity into a competitive metric, rather than just enforcing manager-surveys-employee mindset. As suggested in (Kompier Michiel, 1999), having a centralized surveillance authority in the workplace increases perceived stress and lack of privacy. Through various information sharing policies, TimeOP opens up activity data within the team environment, thus raising awareness without causing additional stress.
The current thesis aims at analyzing existing solutions, emphasizing their strengths and weaknesses and building a solution which is qualitatively superior, focusing on solving specific real world problems. Ever since the beginning of the project, we have adopted an easily extensible architecture, so that TimeOP data can be securely made available to other services through a REST API. Realizing the importance of data privacy, a significant part of the development effort has been directed toward right management and sharing policies that guarantee complete isolation between independent users. In order to maximize the commercial potential of this project, the user management component has built-in support for handling subscription types, payment gateway instant notifications, and account upgrading and downgrading policies.
In the rest of the thesis we’ll present the major components that allow for TimeOP business processes to run correctly.