It can be if you follow these four simple rules.
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If you talked to business owners, managers and employees last year, most of them would probably tell you that employee monitoring software seems excessive and intrusive. But now that COVID-19 made us rethink work-from-home policies, this industry is booming.
Many managers have realized that their employees can in fact work remotely and still complete their tasks. However, most of these companies do not have experience with remote work. What does a company do to ensure that productivity is high while tracking the attendance of their workers on a daily basis?
While monitoring solutions have proven that they can help companies on many different levels, they still raise ethical concerns. So let’s see what can be considered ethical and unethical within the monitoring space.
1. Monitoring employees in secret
The number one monitoring practice that is considered unethical, and in most cases even illegal, is monitoring employees without their knowledge or consent. This practice is considered legal when employers are suspecting malpractice, and want to catch employees red-handed. However, if companies simply want to keep an eye on their employees without telling them, they could face serious consequences.
To avoid this, always make sure your employees are aware of employee monitoring software. If possible, create a monitoring policy, including consent forms which will explain in detail what you will be monitoring, which data you will be collecting, how you will store it, and who can access it.
2. Monitoring employees outside of working hours
After-hours monitoring has become a bigger issue in the current remote working environment. It’s not uncommon for employees to use their business laptops for personal matters while they’re on a break or once their shift is over. If you’re using the monitoring software during these hours, you could potentially record sensitive personal data that could legally implicate you.
To avoid the issue, either forbid the usage of company-owned laptops for personal use, or allow employees to turn off their trackers when the shift is over or while they’re on a break. This will also make your employees calmer about the monitoring as they’ll have full control over
Can Employee Monitoring Be Done Ethically?