Employee monitoring is increasing in more than half of big companies, as Fortune reports. Employers are keeping tabs on every movement their staff makes. They use surveillance cameras, web capture tools, GPS tracking devices, and other technologies for monitoring.
But where does spying start and legal employee surveillance stop?
Monitoring Must Be Within Reason
But keeping track of workers should be done for the company’s growth and in line with state law requirements. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one example that offers greater transparency and control over the collection and use of personal data of consumers.
The practice of workplace surveillance should still have a limit.
GPS tracking, for instance, is not always appropriate, like in the case of Arias v. Intermex Wire Transfer. All employees of Intermex had to install Xora, an app with a GPS function, so Intermex can track their employees’ location. The problem was that the company tracked even an employee’s off-duty whereabouts. On top of this, every staff had to keep their phone on 24/7 to answer calls from clients.
The surveillance brought on more
Keep Your Priorities in Check
Workplace surveillance has its own set of advantages, as long as the methods are compliant with federal and state laws.
For instance, keeping tabs on the activities of employees online and on the phone gives them an idea of their performance. At least they will know what areas need to be improved in the workplace. Companies can use the data to resolve productivity issues.
Most of the data gathered from employee monitoring are documented evidence to address several incidents in the workplace. When office supplies are missing, for example, the recorded footage from the surveillance cameras can help employers identify the culprit.
On another note, employee monitoring also boosts customer satisfaction. The
this is what’s worrisome: only one in three employers are “confident”
that they’re gathering and using workplace data “responsibly.”
The Cons of Workplace Surveillance
Transparency is good practice. Employers have to draw a line between what works well for all employees and what doesn’t. Consider that not all employees feel comfortable about the surveillance.
Just because they don’t have a choice and they don’t have the final say doesn’t mean
Employee monitoring can give the impression that bosses don’t trust their staff. In an interview with The Atlantic, Jason Edward Harrington, an employee at O’Hare International Airport’s luggage-screening checkpoint who quit his job because of intrusive monitoring, said, “If they trusted us, respected us, you could really enjoy the job. But they didn’t.”
Workplace surveillance can help with the company’s performance as long as it isn’t intrusive and exploitative of the employees’ right to privacy.