You can monitor your employees. Should you?

As the owner of a small business, you have the technology available to know what Web sites your workers visit while sitting at their desks. You can monitor how they use Twitter and Facebook. It’s also possible to tap into their smart phones to find out where they physically are during the day. But just because you can do this, it doesn’t suggest that you ought to.

Privacy in the tech age

Thomas Claburn, editor-at-large with InformationWeek, recently tackled the controversy over employee monitoring in a recent online feature. In it, he quoted a wide array of experts, all of whom could understand why employers would want to use new tech to monitor their employees. However, these experts also argued that too much monitoring is counterproductive.

More to come?

That’s because today’s technology allows employers to monitor anything from where their employees are during the day – thanks to smart phones and GPS – to what Web sites they’re visiting to what e-mail messages they’re sending. Employers implement this for a large number of reasons; they don’t want their employees to embarrass them on social media sites. They want to make sure that their employees aren’t visiting TMZ during working hours. The question is: Does this monitoring pay off for companies?


For Claburn, monitoring largely comes down to trust. Companies that explain their monitoring policies clearly, should have fewer problems with disgruntled employees. And those that trust their workers to act like grown-ups are often rewarded with harder-working and more loyal workers.

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