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How to Tell Employees About Computer Monitoring in the Workplace

Updated on October 1, 2015

Employee computer monitoring is a tool that is welcomed by employers as they get more control over the business process, but is not very welcomed by the employees as it makes them feel not very comfortable. In brief, employers want to monitor, but employees do not want to be monitored.

There are many concerns related to computer monitoring from the employees’ side:

  1. Personal Privacy: “What if my employer records some private information about me? Some private messages? Or my web banking information?”
  2. Feel of being Limited: “I have to watch my every step as the employer is watching everything I do! It feels like losing my freedom, like someone is taking control over my life.”
  3. Lack of Trust: “My employer is watching me, there is no trust between us any more… I do not feel trusted. And I cannot trust.”
  4. Tension in the Workplace: “Everyone feels the same I feel. Such a tension around…”
  5. They Want to Replace Me: “If my employer monitors me, does it mean that I’m not performing my job well? Does he want to replace me with anybody else?”
  6. Feeling no Respect: “I feel my rights are not respected.”

This list can be extended.

What Is the Solution?

The right solution in such situation would be to remain reasonable while using employee computer monitoring. For employers it is quite important to act respectful to their business as well as to all the employees. In this case it is possible to monitor computers and preserve healthy work environment at the same time. Professional lawyers provide very good recommendations for employers, which are specified below:
  1. Identify your business needs.
  2. Based on your business goals, identify set of required monitoring functions.
  3. Avoid any unnecessary monitoring functions in order to respect your employees’ privacy.
  4. Provide clear description of what exactly is going to be monitored.
  5. Create clear monitoring policies.
  6. Announce the fact of computer monitoring to the employees.
  7. Provide employees with all the explanatory materials and policies.
  8. Get employees’ consent for monitoring.

(Information provided according to “Issues to consider when implementing an employee monitoring program” by TechRepublic).

Mentioned above set of steps can help employers to maintain healthy working environment in the workplace while using computer monitoring.

Computer Monitoring – Useful Features

The most common business goals that push employers on the road of computer monitoring are:
  1. Increase productivity level
  2. Optimize computers utilization
  3. Optimize software utilization
  4. Limit personal Internet usage
  5. Keep up good discipline level

Computer monitoring software offers many useful features for achieving those business goals, like, for example:

  1. Attendance monitoring
  2. Computer usage monitoring
  3. Software usage monitoring
  4. Internet usage monitoring

How to Announce?

There are some recommendations on how to tell your employees about the fact of monitoring:
  1. Respect your business goals, respect your employees.
  2. Keep your announcement business related, avoid making it personal.
  3. Follow the above recommendations. Follow every step when preparing your announcement.

Announcement Samples:

1. “Starting from today, our work policies are going to be changed: employee computer monitoring will take place on all company’s computers, equally for all the employees. Our management will provide all the necessary explanatory materials and computer monitoring policies, so every employee could get familiar with the monitoring functions and rules. Your consent is required for starting monitoring. You can refuse to sign the consent. Computer monitoring is a mandatory requirement for all the employees to use company’s computers or other electronic devices, which belong to company’s property. Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to ask.”

2. “Company Management would like to bring the fact of forthcoming employee monitoring to the notice of all members of the Company.

Starting from tomorrow, the forthcoming Employee Performance Monitoring Software will be installed on each employee’s computer. All the necessary explanatory materials and computer monitoring policies will be provided, so every employee will be able to get familiar with rules and functions of monitoring. The consent of each employee is required for monitoring. Computer monitoring is a mandatory requirement for all the employees who utilize company’s computers or any other electronic devices that belong to Company’s property. Please do not hesitate to contact your managers for any further questions.”

3. “Company Management would like to bring the fact of forthcoming employee monitoring to the notice of all members of the Company. Top Management resolved to make such arrangements in order to improve employees’ performance level and thus make the working process easier and more comfortable for all staff.
Employee Performance Monitoring Software will be installed on all employees’ computers in the office as well as on all computers of remotely working employees.
Such monitoring system will monitor only performance level of company members by means of: attendance monitoring, log in/out monitoring, user login name monitoring, computer name, active/idle time monitoring, website URL monitoring, social network URL monitoring (name and path only), without monitoring any personal or sensitive information. Employee Performance Monitoring Software is a mandatory requirement for all the members of Company. Additional information about the process of monitoring and all the rules of monitoring software could be found in Workplace Monitoring Policies and Workplace Computer Monitoring - Employee Handbook, which will be provided by managers. All the operations necessary for implementing the monitoring in the workplace will be accomplished today and the process of monitoring will be started from tomorrow.
Please do not hesitate to contact your managers for any further questions.
Thank you all for your attention.

Sincerely,
Company Management.”

This is Possible

If respecting your business goals, your employees and being reasonable at the same time, it can be really possible to use computer monitoring and let your employees feel comfortable in your company or department.

A Question For Readers:

Do You (as an Employer) feel comfortable monitoring your employees every day?

See results

Do You (as an Employee) feel comfortable, being monitored every day at your workplace?

See results

WorkTime - Respectful Employee Performance Monitoring.
www.worktime.com
By Maryna Shynkaruk, Analytical Writer, NesterSoft Inc.
July 2015

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