For the last twenty years, employers have been involved in monitoring workplace activities and performance of their employees. Advances in information technology have significantly enhanced the ability of employers to take part in such monitoring activity. Employers have the ability to monitor the electronic mail, telephone calls, time spent on the internet and on the telephone, and computer keystrokes of their employees using modern monitoring software. Various states have laws that govern monitoring of employees activities. In addition, companies have developed privacy and code of ethics policies to ensure proper use and ethical use of company resources while at work.
The State of Connecticut has enacted various laws and policies for the purpose of ensuring good working relationship between employers and their employees. The main purpose of the monitoring policies is to ensure the privacy rights of the parties involved are protected adequately (State of Connecticut). One policy requires that employers taking part in any type of electronic monitoring to provide prior written notice to every employees who may be affected making them aware of the types of monitoring which may take place. To make the requirement of the “prior written notice” satisfactory, employers are required to post a notice regarding the types of electronic monitoring which the employer may engage in a conspicuous place that can be viewed by all the employees (State of Connecticut). Employers violating the law are subject to civil penalties levied by the Labor Commission.
In my place of work, the monitoring policies are clearly stated in the employee workbook. The employee workbook has cleared stated the state policies and has also explained extensively about the proper use of the company information technology systems as well as surfing the Internet using the company computer devices. In addition, the employee workbook has also stated the events or actions that can lead to an individual to be disciplined in regard to improper use of company Internet and information technology systems and also the repercussions of such actions.
There are various sort of monitoring companies that companies use to monitor activities and performances of the employees. One such popular monitoring tool is the use of CCTV cameras. Various companies have installed CCTV cameras in offices to monitor activities as well as movement of employees in their places of work (Weckert, 2005). Another widely used monitoring tool is the use of monitoring software by various vendors. Monitoring software is installed in company servers to filter and provide analysis of Internet traffic from employee computers or analysis of surfing history of each employee. In addition, the monitoring software can provide employers with robust productivity indicators such as break duration, attendance, and time spent actively working in the current tasks.
The increased use of computers and the Internet for communication has necessitated the need to ensure company records and databases are kept safe from intruders. Companies hold large amount of customer and employee information which is highly sensitive and needs to be safeguarded (Weckert, 2005). Therefore, it is important for the company to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the records and databases is safe from unauthorized access.
Monitoring both onsite and offsite employee activities requires proper and adequate planning. Since all employees access the company resources which are located centrally on the company server room or data center, onsite and offsite can be monitored. One of the easy and effective ways the employees can be monitored is to implementing software that tracks the specific time the employees logged into the company servers and the activities they performed on the servers they logged into. For instance, software can indicate the time when an offsite employee logged into the company email server (Weckert, 2005). Similarly, it can indicate the time an onsite employee logged into the company email server. In addition, the software can indicate the time an offsite employee has spent online through an analysis of the time they have spent of accessing the company databases.
In a nutshell, various states and companies have enacted monitoring policies as part of their Labor Code of Conduct. The state of Connecticut has enacted a number of policies to protect employee privacy. Companies are using various monitoring tools such as CCTV cameras and monitoring cameras. Since companies are holding sensitive records and databases, it is important for the company to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the records and databases is safe from unauthorized access.