Latest survey from AMA shows that internet and e-mail monitoring are the most common types of employee surveillance tools.
Taking a look at these statistics, 66 percent of respondents monitor Internet connections, and 65 percent use software to block connections to certain Web sites, including those that contain pornographic material, social networking sites, and sports.
Nearly 45 percent of companies monitor their employees’ e-mail. Of those that do, 73 percent use surveillance software that automatically check e-mail content and 40 percent hire people to manually read employee e-mail. Another 45 percent monitor phone calls, and nearly half of respondents use video monitoring to counter theft, violence, and sabotage. Less than 10 percent of employers use video surveillance to track on-the-job performance.
Already been proved by most cases, in business some employers can monitor their employees without their consent. Since in many jurisdictions, the law still has some shortages of surveillance technology, there are some legal gray areas when it comes to monitor employees.
However in some countries, there is no such gray arrears – employee surveillance is illegal without employee consent. For example, in Connecticut and Delaware of USA, that is a must condition which requiring employee notification if an employer want to utilize any surveillance software to monitor employees’ activities. Commonly law in most countries allows employers to monitor employees’ work like monitoring the use of telephone, email, portable storage devices and other communications. Even in some companies, employees must sign and agree the contract including monitoring entries before they can work in this position.
In any case, if a company is considering installing employee surveillance software or devices, it makes sense to check applicable laws to see what restrictions exist.
For employers good, it is often wise to let employees know and educate employees about the face that their all activities have been monitored. The good points doing like that are employees will be less apt to deal personal affairs during working time, leave work early, visit inappropriate Web sites, or steal important data from company.
Surveillance technology also carries a sense of “Big Brother is watching” and can lead to ill will among employees, which may eventually take the form of potential legal claims. By creating reasonable policies and educating employees about them, employers can go a long way toward allaying employee concerns while enjoying the benefits of monitoring technology.
Employers should setup specific and explicit policies on employee monitoring, whether it involves e-mail, website visiting, portable storage device using. It is also wise to spell out what policies are, like what website being prohibited in the working time, what documents can’t be taken away from office and no IM chatting being allowed, etc. Making policies clear firstly, that will avoid any depute later.
Once policies are set done, educating employees and let them understand surveillance technology is the next step. Making employees know why surveillance software being used and importance for company, most time they are will accept them.
Employee monitoring will definitely become even more common as technology improves and costs for surveillance continue to decrease. Surveillance will no more only be heard, that will come into the working lives.