The relationship between employers and employees is a fragile one. It can be tested when companies decide to use employee monitoring software to keep an eye on their staff. Some employees may feel as though their privacy is being invaded and their employers don’t trust them. The bottom line is that if a company decides to monitor their employees, it has the right to do so. But, is it ethical? Should employers monitor employees?
What Does Employee Monitoring Entail?
When a company monitors it’s staff, they use software on company devices to view employee activities. Usually, the information that is tracked is accessible by companies through an online account or through a private server. Some of the key activities companies monitor include employees’ social media usage, emails sent and received, internet usage and history, Google Drive documents, and instant messaging (text, Skype, Slack, etc.). Once this information is found and stored, companies can review it to help them evaluate their business and staff performance.
Is It Legal?
Yes, it is legal for a company to monitor and track its employees. However, the company must meet certain requirements including; 1) It must notify its employees and gain their consent to be monitored, 2) Monitoring software must only be used on company-owned devices, and 3) Only company-related data can be viewed by companies. There are state and federal laws that prohibit companies from tracking employees without their knowledge and permission, and viewing their personal information.
6 Reasons Companies Should Monitor Employees
Uncover Weaknesses In Your Business
Using monitoring software, companies can evaluate their business and uncover weaknesses. Weaknesses could be employees, processes, corporate structure, tools being used, skills, and business resources. These flaws can be found within the business data that is retrieved, and can be used to improve the business further.
Improve Your Employee Productivity
Employees are the driving force behind any business. Without employees, the business wouldn’t function. So, with this in mind, companies are highly concerned about their employees’ productivity levels. By viewing their activities on a regular basis, employers could provide their staff with recommendations to improve their work process.
Block Business Distractions
According to a study, 3 out of 4 workers feel distracted while on the job. The workplace contains numerous distractions that can interfere with work. Talking, texting, emailing, social media, playing games, and watching videos, just to name a few. If the distractions are technology-based, monitoring software can uncover what distractions are plaguing certain employees.
Protect Your Business Data
The most precious commodity a business has is its data. This includes private documents and records, client information, email contacts, and more. In today’s technological world, businesses must have a data protection plan, such as using monitoring software. Tracking company device activities can help detect any threat to your data.
Prevent Corporate Sabotage
Businesses can seek opposition from competitors and even their own employees. These people usually seek to sabotage the business and steal its trader secrets. Just like a magician, businesses don’t share their tricks. If they get into the wrong hands, the business could be ruined. However, corporate sabotage can be easily prevented by monitoring all company communications, documents, and servers.
Monitor Remote Workers
Many businesses don’t feel the need to have employees report to a physical office. Instead, many work remotely from their home. And in some industries (like sales), employees are required to travel for work. However, the risk of this is not being able to physically see and know where your employees are at all times. As long as they use company devices, monitoring software will enable you to make sure they are doing their job and abiding by company policies.
Ultimately, it’s up to a business owner whether or not using monitoring software is a good fit for their company. In some cases, it may be beneficial to get your employees’ opinions on the matter. By having your staff involved in the process, they may feel less like their privacy is being invaded, and more positive about it.
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