Friday, February 19, 2016

Should Companies Spy On Their Employees?

Thanks to the escalating advancements in technology, now you can do absolutely anything, even spy on your employees. Every mode of communication has become digital, so you just need to know how to access it. All large companies monitor the activities of their employees to some extent, but of course only within the realms of the workplace, such as internet use and email at work. For obvious reasons, employers don’t appreciate that their employees engage in personal activities during work hours or engage in inappropriate actions, such as trading stocks or playing games.

Other than menial reasons, the main concern of companies is to make sure employees aren’t selling trade secrets or using workplace computers and phones to harass other employees. In fairness, all gadgets that belong to the company and are being used by employees should be monitored for the reasons stated above.

Monitoring Internet Use

Monitoring internet use on all devices that belong to the company is absolutely essential and well within the legal limits. Keeping track of how the internet is being put to use by the employees helps the company realize if they are being completely utilized during work hours or not. For instance, if you find your employee has been watching a movie for the past three hours on their computer, then either the employee has a poor work ethic or they are just being underutilized. In any case, you can remedy the situation and improve the working environment with a phone spy.

Monitoring Emails

Emails are the most basic form of communication, especially in a business environment. Legally speaking, employers are awarded the right to access their employee’s emails if they have reason to believe suspicious activity, unless the employee was promised privacy and confidentiality at time of employment. Informing the employees beforehand about such policies will prevent them from committing suspicious activities in the future. To keep matters simple, only access your employee’s email when you have sufficient reason to do so, or else you risk harming employee retention.

Monitoring Phone Calls

Employers need to be exceptionally careful when monitoring phone calls with a phone app because that’s a higher level of privacy invasion. Again, legally speaking, employers are well within their rights to record all phone calls made with phones/mobiles that belong to the company. The reason is twofold.

First off, if the company deals with customers over the phone, they like to monitor how their staff interacts with their clients. Second of all, they want to make sure the employee is not leaking sensitive information or harassing other employees. The company should not only let the employees know they are being recorded, but it’s a good business practice to let their customers know as well.
Also, employers need to explicitly tell their employees to not make personal phone calls on all devices owned by the company. If they fail to do so, the employer is essentially violating the employee’s privacy.

Spying Within Legal Limits

To avoid privacy violations, there are a few steps every company should take before monitoring their employees. First of all, there should be established policies that are made available to every employee. The policy should clearly state which forms of communication are being monitored. Have the employees sign a consent form for extra caution.

Secondly, justify reasons why all employees are being monitored. If an employee is caught performing illegal activities, the court will never hold you liable for anything if a justified policy is put in place. And whether that employee is using a Samsung, an HTC, an iPhone 6 or searching for the elusive iPhone 20, it’s a company’s responsibility to set policies.

Lastly, be reasonable when spying on your employees. You want to build trust and loyalty within your company to keep things running smoothly. Excessive invasion of privacy will affect your rate of employee retention. 

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