Employers still have legal rights to track Internet activities of their employees – however – should they actually do it? While there are some potential pitfalls, I reality there are several valid reasons in favor of web-monitoring.
For starters, it can help an employer protect his company from data leaks, theft and other cybercrimes. It can also help confirm compliance with regulations and provide concrete evidence and ensure that the office is harassment-free.
Recent research has shown that at least 33% of employers today monitor their employees’ email interactions and web activities. But as we mentioned, there are certain downsides of monitoring. It can potentially create a moral problem and impact your staff’s performance.
Needless to say, if you want to start monitoring your employees, you should start by consulting a serious law firm to get some free employment law advice. If needed, you can hire a lawyer to help you formulate your policies and help you protect your company from possible lawsuits.
Three Tips for Legally Monitoring Your Employees
1. Establish Clear Policies from the Get-Go
Lawsuits happen all the time. So it’s important to have a clear policy on device and internet usage within your company. Define your security risks and needs first, then talk to your employees and hear their wishes out and then try to develop a policy that strikes a perfect balance. Once you have this policy, your employees will know if their email, software and social media usage is acceptable or not.
2. Talk to Your Employees about It
One you have these rules in place, you have to notify your workers about them. It’s important to explain everything and answer any questions they have if you want to avoid problems down the line. Explain that you’ll monitor them because you’re obliged to keep a complaint workforce. You need to have complete transparency, because some of your employees won’t feel completely comfortable with the monitoring and that you don’t have any hidden intentions.
3. Use Only the Latest Tools
Lastly, if you want to have complete control of your monitoring tools, you have to invest some money into the latest, state-of-art tech. Modern monitoring tools will collect the data you need and give you info on things like how much time your workers spend on a single task. Furthermore, you should also look into tools that allow you to block certain web content that can create a hostile work environment.
The Bottom Line: How Will this Affect Your Workers?
You have to be aware that monitoring your employees can cause a large pushback from your workforce. In order to avoid these situations, you should only engage in focused monitoring of an employee if you have a well-founded suspicion of a policy or a legal violation.
Nonetheless, in today’s day and age, monitoring employees is quickly becoming a necessity. Some employees will put your company at risk accidentally, and if you want to prevent any incidents and lessen these risks, you need to have insight into their online behaviors and actions.