Running head: EMPLOYEE MONITORING
Employee Monitoring: Employer Safeguard or Invasion of Privacy? Sarah L. Voorhees
EMPLOYEE MONITORING Employee Monitoring: Employer Safeguard or Invasion of Privacy? Employee privacy has been a controversial topic especially with the rise in internet usage, the popularity of social media increasing, and the addition of GPS to mobile devices. With these advances in technology there are numerous ways for employers to monitor their employees’ time at work. According to Evans (2007) as many as eighty percent of the employers, who employ twenty percent of the American population, monitor employees’ telephone conversations, emails, and voicemails. ...view middle of the document...
The Social Norm of Employee Monitoring
EMPLOYEE MONITORING In the digital era of today’s working environment, almost all employees are aware their employer is performing some form of monitoring with email monitoring being the most expected. However, the degree of monitoring employers partake in varies. With the lines between personal lives and the work environment blurring, employers are taking advantage of the array of technology they have at their disposal. A heightened awareness of this blurring requires employers to become more probing towards their employees. This becomes apparent with the discovery of 85% of employers recognizing their employees’ use of social networking and personal internet usage during work hours (Mello, 2012). There are many ways that employers utilize applicable technologies, including GPS and social networking sites. GPS: Advantages and Disadvantages Employers have a legitimate reason to need and want to monitor their employees. GPS systems can be useful for organizations that have a mobile workforce. Installing GPS systems can be used to help cut cost as well as unauthorized usage of company vehicles (Towns & Cobb, 2012). Most GPS systems not only have the ability of pinpointing locations within 100 feet but also track speed and inform the drivers of the current speed limit. Major cost savings can be seen due to increased productivity of employees due to more effective usage of their time when employees are aware of employers tracking their movements. Likewise, when employees follow the speed limit it can be translated in savings in fuel costs and decreased number of accidents (Towns & Cobb, 2012). Like most advancements in technology, when there is a positive use there is also a negative misuse. While there is a potential for efficiency to increase with GPS usage, there is also the potential for employers to set irrational time frames and quotas to try to increase efficiency (Towns & Cobb, 2012). This can place unwarranted pressure on employees. Some
EMPLOYEE MONITORING employees start to be concerned about the lack of privacy with the use of GPS tracking. It is often a necessity for mobile workforces to use their company vehicle to facilitate breaks such as lunch. GPS systems have the potential to disclose personal information about employees when used during such nonworking hours. All travels tend to be recorded with the use of GPS tracking which can lead to an employer knowing detailed information about an employee’s personal life such as preferences or appointments. To avoid conflict with the use of GPS systems, Towns and Cobbs (2012) suggests taking the following steps. Incorporate GPS usage with other policies by publicizing a policy limiting the use of company property, including electronic devices such as phones and computers as well as vehicles, to work related purposes. Combined with policies, employers should inform their employees of their right to monitor their usage of such property....