Being a boss is a thankless task and it’s almost part of the job that your employees hate you as it gives them something to unite and bond over. One of the things that many people claim they are uncomfortable with at work is surveillance, whether it’s in an office or with engineers. There are right ways to go about surveillance that means you can keep an eye on how things are proceeding without making your staff uncomfortable.
You obviously don’t want your employees spending all their time on Facebook when they are supposed to be making you money, however on lunch breaks they are entitled to and so it makes checking their internet history an unnecessary form of privacy invasion. I would make it a policy to only check an employee’s internet usage if you have a serious reason and have it on good authority that they might be wasting company time.
In a similar way to the internet history section, if you have a fleet based business, where you have engineers, etc., out in the field, it can be tempting to track their whereabouts with tech from companies like MyFleet fleet tracking to ensure that they are going to where they are supposed to be. This fleet tracking technology is essential; however only check it when you have probable cause. It’s also important to never jump to conclusions and to give employees some leeway and always allow employees to defend themselves before taking action. Having tracking software, even if you don’t use it, will mean that employees are aware and will probably not abuse their position of being out and about under their own steam. This means that the trackers can be logged onto only if someone is severely underperforming in their role.
Somehow it is legal to read personal emails and texts that have been sent and received on company hardware. I implore any employee to never go through this stuff as it is a complete invasion of privacy. If employees are worried about this then they should stick to personal devices, but I’m sure we’ve all sent emails from work before on our lunch break. I can’t believe that this is legal, but it is and so if you have a reason to doubt your employee and wonder if they are spending a lot of time dealing with personal stuff, then make sure you speak to them first and let them know your concerns and that you will be keeping an eye on things from now on. I would never check their personal stuff without warning them first; it’s just good manners and doing it this way will retain the employee/employer trust that is of paramount importance to the success of a business.
The most important thing is to not abuse your positon as the boss and to ensure that your staff are happy and content in their positons, without the need to fear that you will be watching and listening in on them wherever they go and whatever they do.