Employee privacy in the workplace

improve insider threat prevention

How to maintain employee privacy in the workplace when employers decide to monitor employee activities for company security concern? For many big and small businesses, employee monitoring seems to be a part and parcel of employee management.  But employee privacy in the workplace also needs to be considered on the part of employees. Is it possible to maintain employee privacy and employee monitoring?

The conflicts between employee privacy and employee monitoring

As the world is becoming digitized, it has become hard to follow on the different activities that employees are involved in when using computers. Most employees have spent valuable company time in engaging in activities that are not work-related. As a result, the companies are losing revenue by paying hours that have not produced any results. This has seen reduced productivity and losses that are detrimental to any firm. Additionally, there has been a threat to company data and systems as outsiders are sometimes able to get through the system and access information that is otherwise confidential for the enterprise.

Most companies have turned to monitoring computer activities so as to ensure that their employees are spending their time as they should. While monitoring has provided a reprieve to the employers, the biggest hurdle has been on maintaining employee privacy at the workplace. Depending on the level of surveillance that is undertaken, any monitoring software can get different type of information. Some will only focus on specific applications such as social media sites while others will check each and every activity like emails, web sites, keystrokes among others. When monitoring is comprehensively done, employees may raise concern over their privacy, and this may even lead to legal suits.

Methods of keeping employee privacy in the workplace

Maintaining employee privacy in the workplace should, therefore, be considered. Below are some of the ways to do this:

Develop a monitoring policy

Policy development is the first step towards ensuring that you are on the same page with employees in as far as monitoring is concerned A monitoring policy gives any company a proactive way of dealing with computer and Internet usage issues. The policy should guide the employees on the use of company computer and Internet usage. It should also outline the employer expectations and the expected consequences should an employee violate the policy.

Explain the reason behind monitoring

When employees suspect that they are being scrutinized secretly, they feel invaded and may lose their trust and confidence with their employers. A monitoring policy makes it easy because the employees are aware that they are being monitored. Additionally, they understand the reasons for the activity and therefore feel like the reasonable solution in the usage of computers and the Internet at the work place.

Discuss the levels of monitoring

It is crucial that employees understand how monitoring will be held. This will prevent them from using company time to engage in activities that are not work-related since they are aware they are being monitored. If you are monitoring emails, for example, the employees will most likely desist from accessing their personal emails as they would not want to have their private conversations accessed by strangers.

Confine your monitoring to company computers

While employers may be tempted to keep an eye on employees throughout, it should noticed that employees also have their personal lives outside the office. It would be unethical to continue monitoring employees when they are not working as this would border on invading on private space. As an employer, it is important to draw a line, and monitor computers while maintaining employee privacy in the workplace.

EaseMon Employee monitoring software makes it easy for you to monitor employee computers without overlapping the edge of invading employee privacy. It has features such as recording websites visited, taking screenshots when a predefined keyword is triggered, sending email notification and calculating the amount of time used on an application. These features together with others give you an edge in employee monitoring.

According to what has been mentioned above, it’s possible to maintain the balance between employee monitoring and employee privacy in the workplace. On one hand, it’s necessary and helpful for employers to monitor employee computer activities. On the other hand, it’s also necessity to keep and protect employee privacy.

Introduction to Employee Monitoring Privacy Policy in the Workspace

Every employee and employer should know about the employee monitoring privacy policy in the workspace. Innovation in technology and its increased use in the workplace have created several concerns for both employers and employees in terms of privacy. Technology facilitates communication at numerous levels, enhances efficiency in almost all tasks and allows geographic and business growth. While the technology can be praised for the ways in which it has helped business growth & development, it has also increased concerns that previously did not exist. That’s why the introduction to employee monitoring privacy policy becomes a necessity in many companies.


Why Introduce Employee Monitoring Privacy Policy?

Technology has allowed employers to have technological access to both personal and work-related information of their employees. Employers can keep an eye on several aspects of their employees’ jobs, particularly on computer terminals. Such monitoring is practically unregulated. Therefore, as per company’s employee monitoring privacy policy, an employer may listen, read and watch most of employees’ workplace communications.

With the help of suitable technology, employers can get insight into employee behavior depending upon the “digital footsteps” that are created each day in the workplace. This behavioral modeling technology can bring together all electronic records to know the behavior patterns of each employee.

Why do employers need this information? How could employers use this information? Why should employees be worried? What legal framework deals with such privacy issues? You will get answers to these questions in this part.

Business Reasons

Employers have evident reasons to monitor employees’ activities. Protecting trade secrets is the most important element of any business. Keeping an eye on the electronic communication of employees is the best way through which employers can ensure that their business secrets do not escape. Reasonable measures may also include the formation of employee surveillance privacy policy on email usage. Though, it is uncertain how organized monitoring would avoid planned disclosure. Still, this fear gives an incentive to some companies that harbor confidential information to monitor their employees and create special employee monitoring privacy policy.

Essential to Avoid Liability

Most of the employers monitor their employees’ activities over company’s computer systems. Companies want to avoid legal issues, including lawsuits and the rising role that electronic evidence plays in legal proceedings and government agency investigations. This shows why every company signs an agreement of staff surveillance privacy policy with every employee.

Privacy policies are almost always advocated. Experts suggest that every company must notify their employees what types of monitoring can be performed, what are the purposes that employer wishes to accomplish through this monitoring and how frequently this monitoring will be performed. Lawyers also suggest that employee surveillance privacy policy should be distributed to all employees before they are finalized.


How Can Employees Protect Themselves?

Monitoring doesn’t always increase employee efficiency. Instead, many employees have the negative effect of monitoring which can affect their morale and performance. So, there is a need to maintain balance between electronic surveillance and employee privacy.In order to protect company property and prevent business information leakage, an employee monitoring privacy policy is implemented. What can employees do to protect themselves?

Monitoring Notification from Employers

The fact that employers do not inform their employees about monitoring makes employees annoyed. This is simply the violation of staff surveillance privacy policy. Employers must divulge to their employees about electronic monitoring and tell their employees when and how they will check employee email, computer and Internet usage.

Employees can also try to make an agreement with their employers for employee monitoring privacy policy. However, this is approach unlikely to succeed.

Specific Protection

Specific information is protected by law. For example, gathering financial information of employees or applicants is statutorily addressed. It comes under false pretenses where obtaining credit information on an employee’s kids to check the employee’s honesty.

It can be concluded that employee monitoring is important up to a certain extent. It is the duty of every employer to inform their employees about monitoring. Notifying employees in advance may prevent any kind of communication gap between the two, as both can make each other understand their privacy points.


How does employee monitoring privacy policy benefit both employees and employers? Technology has allowed employers to have technological access to work-related information of their employees. Keeping an eye on the electronic communications of employees is the best way through which employers can ensure that their business secrets do not escape. But employers must inform their employees that they are under supervision.

EaseMon Employee Monitoring Software

EaseMon is the best and most secure employee monitoring software, which enables employers to keep full tabs on employees’ activities. EaseMon can realize the phenomenon that there is no privacy in workplace any more.

  • Record composed emails
  • Log typed messages, accounts, and passwords
  • Log both sides of messages in Skype, AIM, Adium and iMessage
  • Record websites visited in Safari/Chrome/FireFox
  • Track websites visited in Private browsing mode or Incognito Mode
  • Calculate how long an Application has been used
  • Correlate application logs with captured screenshots
  • App report by user to detect who are wasting work time
  • Take a screenshot when a keyword is triggered
  • Play the captured screenshots as a slideshow
  • Multiple notifications based on Alert categories
  • Send out notification emails periodically
  • View logs online anywhere
  • Export/Print logs as archive or evidence
  • Remotely update or uninstall EaseMon Client
  • Remotely Log Out, Restart, Shut Down the target Mac
  • Stay invisible and undetectable
  • Monitor both Local and Network Users

No privacy in workplace any more is possible for employers who hope to find out the inappropriate activities of employees, improve productivity and protect company confidential information. Try EaseMon and you will find all the results you want.

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