Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has been in the media spotlight after a New York Times article revealed controversial workplace procedures, including an “Anytime Feedback” app that allows employees to submit anonymous comments about their colleagues to management.

Amazon said most feedback received through its app was positive, but the Times article also described scenarios where colleagues made pacts to “bury” or praise other employees. Sometimes anonymous comments were copied directly into performance reviews, the article said.

Yet for good or for ill, new technologies have made employee tracking an increasing presence in the life in the American worker. But it’s not all 1984.

There are great productivity apps out there that help managers keep tabs on projects as well as worker progress. When utilized well, technology and business data can benefit both the employee and the employer. Are you implementing the right tools?

If you’re tracking projects…

As companies increasingly hire remote workers and allow on-site employees to work from home, knowing the status of projects becomes more complicated. Cloud-based project management apps allow employers to stay on top of who’s doing what and how things are progressing, without sending a flurry of emails.

Asana tracks and organizes online “conversations” with remote workers, organizing them by task and project. Managers can see due dates and project members with a click, and can easily add comments.

Managers can use Trello to create lists of employee tasks and update spreadsheets, or Basecamp to monitor documents, scheduling, tasks, and project discussions.

Once they’re up and running with an app, managers can spend less time chasing after workers and more time strategizing about what to do with them. And employees can expect at least a little less congestion in their email inbox.

If you’re tracking productivity…

The workplace is also awash with apps tracking worker productivity.

Hivedesk monitors employee time, completes weekly timesheets, and even takes random screenshots to show employers what workers are doing. It also supplies a graphic representation of productivity for each worker.

And Worksnaps goes even further.

The app zooms in closely on workers, logging keystrokes and mouse movements and taking a screenshot every 10 minutes. It also tells employers which websites workers visit. An optional webcam shows not just screens, but the workers themselves. Worksnaps integrates with Asana, Basecamp, and other apps.

Employers opting for a less invasive solution can consider MySammy, which does not provide information about workers’ every move. Instead, employers decide in advance which sites are productive and which are not. The app displays a red-and-green bar graph showing the time workers spend in both categories. Adjustments can be made based on roles; a social media manager, for example, would not get redlined for visiting Facebook.

If you’re tracking feedback…

Amazon is not the only company that uses apps to solicit anonymous feedback. According to the Times, Workday produces a similar tool used by other companies and backed by an investment from Bezos.

Makers of alternative tools are using the moment to seize an advantage.

Quantum Workplace published a blog post entitled “4 Ways to Fix Amazon’s Anytime Feedback Tool,” which include providing attribution, sending feedback directly to employees, enabling two-way communication, and using solicited, as well as unsolicited feedback. The site claims its own Goalpost tool does all of those things.

Another feedback app is Waggl, which lets managers ask employees questions about their work environment and receive anonymous answers available both to them and the employee. It also lets employers crowdsource suggestions for improvement.

15Five works similarly, asking employees about challenges they face and enabling managers to provide feedback and solutions.

Can tracking data go too far?

Myrna Arias, a former employee at Intermex, thinks so. She is suing her employer after being fired for deleting an app that tracked her whereabouts 24/7. Her manager told her — perhaps as a joke — that he even knew how fast she was driving at all times. “Ms. Arias believed it was akin to wearing a felon’s ankle bracelet,” her lawyer said.

Implementing change

As these types of technologies continue to evolve, so too should your considerations for change management. Situations like Arias don’t need to be an inevitability. If you are considering implementing new technologies that will inevitably affect your employees’ day-to-day, be transparent. Solicit feedback often. And, of course, be willing to adapt as the new world of work changes and grows.

Company change poses tough challenges. Perhaps it’s time to dive deeper into the role of management.