The using of internet at work is easy to demonize, but the other factors such as internet abuse and crime by using internet? There is much to consider on the topic of employee surveillance monitoring.
Taking surveillance method to monitor employee can have both positive and negative effects. The positive like it can cut back on employee misuse of company resources and increase the efficiency of working. However the negative is most surveillance monitoring system could create a “Big Brother scenario” that let employees be anger or have hostile mind at their work environment. So for good or bad, using surveillance should be really careful at the work.
First of foremost, if your employees have the right to access to internet during most of working time, then employees should be required to read and sign some kind of acceptable use policy (UAC) that states what can do and what can’t with company internet. Once I heard one case from our client, his company didn’t have any internet limited policy and then when I found some pornography on the employees’ computer. But unfortunately there is no any policy I can use to punish these persons.
Comparing the good points, there’s also a negative side about employee surveillance monitor. What if you have a problem with your boss and need to go over their head? That wouldn’t be such an uncommon thing. However, how would you discreetly complain about your boss if your boss is keeping tabs on everything you do and reading all your email? In such a case, the employee would feel cornered and powerless. I’ve seen it happen. It’s like the boss knew they had the power over the employee to stop them from easily communicating with upper management.
When it comes to monitoring your employees, fairness is also a big issue. For example, I am not an addictive online shopper. But many of our colleagues are. They always spend some working time to visit online shopping websites like amazon and ebay. It is totally about one or one and half hour a day. Although this time is being allowed during the work, is it fair to me that I don’t get that extra time?
In my opinion, employee surveillance system must combine with a strict punishment system. That is better let surveillance system being implemented in the company. If employees are spending too much time on the Internet, then I would first consider that a management issue. If those employees are playing on the web because they have too much free time, then Internet usage may not be your only problem.