How Far is Employee Monitoring Ethical?


Employee Monitoring is the process of monitoring the activities of the employees during work hours. This is carried out through various forms and for various reasons. In recent days, employee monitoring has become a mandatory measure in most of the business organizations to ensure safety and security standards.

Why Monitor Employees?

Employee monitoring has become a day-to-day routine indeed. It is carried out not only to find solutions to issues but also to ensure that mishaps don’t take place in any manner and to ensure that any form of threat either to the employee or to the organization is avoided in the best possible manner.

However the major reasons that employee-monitoring activities are carried out is to:

  • Ensure the safety of confidential data and make sure that it does not get into unsafe hands.

  • Ensure that the official resources of Keylogger are made use of in a proper and ethical manner.

  • Ensure that the employees of the organization are having a safe work environment and free from any type of harassments.

  • Find proper and justifiable solution to any dispute that might arise by examining the data surveillance report stored.

  • Ensure that the best possible customer service is offered to the customers by having a constant watch over the employee’s client handling style.

  • Ensure that proper work routine is followed and the work hours are effectively utilized to increase productivity

  • To ensure safety of the products and avoiding thefts by proper video surveillance.

  • Ensure that properties and vehicles of the organization are safe and secure by employing proper GPRS systems, which helps in tracking down vehicle movement. This is used mostly in business, which involves more of travelling.

  • Make sure that the equipments given to the employee for official purpose are used only for the predestined purpose.

  • Ensure that there is proper and smooth flow of business and to avoid any accidental mistakes.


Types of Employee Monitoring:

Employee monitoring is conducted through various ways that includes but not limited to:

  • Video Surveillance

  • CCTV (Closed Circuit Television)

  • Having a Central Accessing System to access Files and Systems of Employees.

  • Using GPRS Tracking system to track movement of vehicles used by the employees (this is mostly installed in the vehicles used by sales & marketing employees)

  • Phone tracking and recording devices.(However this can be done only up to a certain extent)

  • By installing internal memory for devices used in the office premises such as printers, fax machines, computers, etc., so that all data that are processed using these devices can be later retrieved for reviewing.

  • By installing punching machines, thumb imprint machines to monitor the in and out time of the employee

  • By installing various employee-monitoring devices that are offered by software developing companies that suits the exclusive requirements of the companies safety policies.


Effects of Employee Monitoring on the mindset of Employee’s:

Although monitoring of employees is a common practice in most of the organizations, it still has a limit that has to be followed and a line that has to be carefully drawn as to what to monitor and what not to. There ought to be a privacy area in each person’s life and that has to be respected.

While Employee monitoring can reduce many undesired activities and safeguard the interests of both the employee and the employer, it still has its own affects on employee’s activities.

  • When employee-monitoring activities are in place, the employee feels that he is under watch and becomes more conscious and this actually makes him loose concentration on work.

  • He looses his privacy at office and the employee is under stress.

  • He feels that he is not relied upon and feels that he is doubted.

  • This actually creates anxiety among employees and they look out for changes.


Ethical Employee Monitoring:

Employee monitoring is a sensitive is issue that has to be handled in a very delicate and careful manner. While there is no fault in monitoring an employee, all the steps and proper procedures ahs to be followed to ensure that all the monitoring activities are well within the legal aspects specified by law.

The employee should be well informed about the various employee monitoring features that are followed by the company at the time of his joining and a written consent has to be taken from him to avoid future legal implications.

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