There are some issues that no matter how long they are debated will never come to a single conclusion. The issue of employee monitoring is one of those contentious issues.
There are lots of reasons being held up by those on both sides of the debate and in all honesty, there are a lot of valid concerns on both sides of the debate. Let’s take a brief look at both sides of the employee monitoring debate.
The Employer’s Point of View
As an employer, they are the one providing their employees with a way to earn a living. At the end of the day, when it comes to anything to do with their business it is their money and their reputation that is on the line. Hard working, honest employees are a very valuable asset to have. However, honest employees are often few and far between and it only takes one negligent worker to bring a business into disrepute.
It could be that employees are sharing confidential information with others, or maybe they are frittering away the working day chatting to friends and browsing the web instead of doing their job. This can easily begin to cost an employer money. In this situation it is reasonable to allow employers to monitor their employees to ensure that they are carrying out their duty and behaving appropriately.
Seeing Things The Employees’ Way
As an employee, having your cell phone or computer monitored by the boss feels a lot like someone infringing on your privacy. No-one lies to have their personal information under the microscope and that is a very valid concern.
However, employer’s should only be monitoring their employees’ work related activities and not personal ones. If the employee is conducting personal business at work then it could be argued that it is then their own fault if their employer gets a hold of information they would rather was not revealed. Nevertheless, it is easy to see the employees’ point of view here as well.
Who Is Right?
Honestly? Both sides are valid. The answer is to make sure that some agreement which suits both parties is put into place. Go head and implement employee monitoring, but within limits. As an employer, you can install cell phone monitoring software to track your employees’ cell phone use, but also make them aware of the fact that the device will be monitored.
In some cases this knowledge is enough to discourage misuse of the device and by informing your employee he or she has the option of choosing not to put personal information into your hands.