Employee privacy in the workplace

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.

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