Using Work Email for Personal Conversations? Here’s What You Need to Know About Email Surveillance

In today’s digital age, the way technology is progressing, employee monitoring has reached the next level. Organizations are using it for different purposes. Some think it increases productivity while others just want to make sure the employees are doing work in the work hours of course. It has its own pros and cons.

Employee monitoring has been around for a while

It is not really unusual for employers to monitor the computers history, emails, and phone conversations of their employees. The European court is already debating on allowing the employers to monitor the emails of their employees for creating workplace transparency. Sometimes, in the course of the workday, employees forget that they are spending too much checking their personal emails, scrolling through Facebook, sending private conversations or maybe even checking the job listings elsewhere. That’s exactly why more and more organizations are getting conscious about keeping track of their employees.

Organizations use email spying apps such as Xnspy to see what their employees are up to throughout the working hours. There are such monitoring software too that take screenshots and capture the keystrokes. Yes, that means your Facebook or Gmail sessions can be reconstructed. So, it is not just your work emails that are unsafe for personal communication, anything that you do on the office computer or other gadgets provided for official use is not safe.

You got it right! It is high time that you stop sending funny emails, close the instant chat windows and stop logging into your Facebook account. If you thought your employer was not watching, then you were wrong.

Today, companies clearly mention in their policies that they will monitor your email communications and anything that’s happening on the official devices. So, it is likely that your employer has the right to review, monitor and read your email communication and that particularly happens if you are using a business email account and a computer provided by your workplace. After all, it is reasonable as employers simply want to verify their employees are taking care of their responsibilities during the work hours.

If you weren’t conscious about this before that your company may be using a spy software for email, then it is suggested to change some of your working etiquettes. Here are some things that you must follow about surveillance:

Keep the work email for work

Whether it is company policy or not, the work email should be kept for work only. That does not mean you cannot send emails to your colleagues. The only thing you have to be careful about is that you are not using the work email for signing up on other websites or for personal communication. Keep your work communication and personal communication separate.

• Remember: Deleted messages are still there

If you think that the email which you deleted months ago is gone forever, then you are wrong. There are some clever employees that use such email spying app that keeps on maintaining a log of your emails. So, even if some email is not in your inbox, it still may be in data backup created by the app and it can be used against you (if it is inappropriate).

• Employers have some responsibility too

It is not just employees who have to take care of the work ethics. Employers have some responsibility on their shoulders too. They must make their staff is aware of how the gadgets provided by the company and emails are supposed to be used. Most of the large organizes have staff handbooks that contain details of how exactly the work devices and emails should be used. It is recommended to ask your seniors about them to understand the rules. There such workplaces that allow you to use phones and emails for personal use (limited only). In such cases, the company has to be sure it is not interfering the private conversations of their employees.

As long as you as an employee are within your boundaries and the organization is ethical in terms of monitoring its employees, then surveillance may not be a big deal.

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I am Hannah George. I am positivity engager, tech blogger & coffee addict. I have a degree in Journalism and Modern Greek Studies from San Francisco State University. I write about tech news, trends, new apps and other tangentially related topics with a particular interest in wearables and exercise tech. When I am not writing, Igo out biking on long trails. I live in San Francisco with my pet cat Sushi.


  1. I’ve heard employers can only monitor company owned devices. Does this mean you can safely access your email using office Wi-Fi and your own handheld device? Or the employer can still track your online activity?

  2. I had heard of employee location monitoring through software, the one that you mentioned here i.e. Xnspy, does it help anyway in location monitoring of the employees?

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