Should You Spy on Your Employees? The Pros and Cons of Digital Monitoring

Zachary Kitchen
January 25, 2023
Should You Spy on Your Employees- The Pros and Cons of Digital Monitoring
Should You Spy on Your Employees- The Pros and Cons of Digital Monitoring

When it comes to employees, how far should you go with digital monitoring? With the ever-evolving digital landscape, the debate over employee monitoring is becoming more complex.

Many employers see it as an invaluable tool for streamlining processes and reducing costs while, on the other hand, it can be seen as violating the rights of employees and being intrusive when taken too far.

If it wasn’t already complicated enough, the landscape of employee monitoring has shifted dramatically due to the pandemic.

With the majority of offices now relying on remote working, digital monitoring has become a more typical part of business processes. With both employees and employers having to adapt to the new remote work reality, it is important to understand the potential risks and rewards of digital monitoring.

The question of how far employers should go with digital monitoring has always been a topic of debate.

What Is Digital Monitoring?

Digital monitoring is the practice of monitoring employee activity on company devices, networks, and communications.

This can include anything from tracking things like:

  • E-mails
  • Web browsing
  • Video/voice recordings
  • Desktop activity

In most cases, employers use this data to ensure employees are meeting expectations and maintaining productivity while also preventing data theft.

In the pandemic and post-pandemic era, digital monitoring has become more commonplace, as employers have shifted their operations to remote working.

The Benefits Of Employee Digital Monitoring

It’s fairly obvious what employers stand to gain from digital monitoring: increased efficiency and safety. By monitoring employee activity, employers have a better understanding of how their teams are performing and can make changes as needed.

In addition, digital monitoring can provide employers with important insights into their workforce and give them a better understanding of their employees.

Some benefits of digital monitoring could be:

  • Increased productivity: Employee monitoring can help make sure employees are focused on their work and can help employers spot and address any weaknesses in their processes.
  • Reduced company costs: By monitoring employee activities, employers can reduce costs associated with inefficient processes or wasted resources.
  • Reduced risks: With digital monitoring, employers can detect and prevent security threats before they occur.
  • Ensuring employee compliance with company policies: Digital monitoring can help employers ensure that their employees are following company policies.
  • Improved communication: By monitoring employee emails and other communication channels, employers can better understand how their employees interact with each other.

It’s important to note that, while digital monitoring can be beneficial, it can also be intrusive and lead to a ‘big brother’ atmosphere. Always ensure you are compliant with any local or national privacy laws.

Employers should always be respectful of employee rights when implementing digital monitoring protocols.

The Downsides Of Employee Digital Monitoring

Not every cloud has a silver lining, and the same is true for digital monitoring. While there are many potential benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

It can be easy to go too far with digital monitoring, resulting in a ‘big brother’ atmosphere and hampering employee morale. This can on occasion be further compounded by a lack of clarity from employers on what is being monitored and why.

Here are some potential negatives of digital monitoring:

  • Invasion of employee privacy: Digital monitoring can be seen as an invasion of privacy, as it can provide employers with an unprecedented level of access to personal information.
  • Reduced employee morale: Employees may feel like they are being watched and judged, leading to decreased morale.
  • Legal risks: Employers need to be aware of any laws or regulations related to employee monitoring and ensure they are compliant.
  • Tech problems: Setting up and maintaining digital monitoring systems can be costly and complicated.
  • Data overload: Employers need to be mindful not to collect too much data, as this can lead to data overload and put a strain on resources.

What Are The Best Practices for Digital Monitoring?

Transparency is the key to maintaining trust between both employers and employees when moving forward with digital monitoring.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to digital monitoring:

  • Provide a clear set of guidelines: Employers should provide employees with a clear set of guidelines on what is and is not acceptable when it comes to digital monitoring.
  • Inform employees of the monitoring: Let your employees know that digital monitoring is taking place, and provide them with an overview of the scope of the monitoring.
  • Conduct routine reviews: Periodically, review the digital monitoring processes to ensure they are compliant with any laws or regulations.
  • Update monitoring processes as needed: Employers should update their monitoring processes as needed to keep up with any changes in the industry or employee needs.
  • Be mindful of costs: Employers should consider the costs associated with digital monitoring when implementing their protocols.

Good digital monitoring is all about striking the right balance between increased efficiency and respect for employee privacy.

An Ubiquitous Part Of The Office

In today’s digital world, digital monitoring has become a ubiquitous part of the office. As we’ve seen, there are both benefits and drawbacks to employee digital monitoring, and it’s essential to consider both when making the decision to implement monitoring protocols.

Ultimately, employers should strive for transparency while showing respect for employee rights and privacy. With this, digital monitoring can be an invaluable tool for employers and an acceptable part of contemporary office life. No one, on either side of the debate, wants to work in an environment where they feel their privacy is being invaded or their rights are not being respected.

Digital Monitoring Can Be A Powerful Tool

If you have any questions or concerns about digital monitoring, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Digital Crisis is here to answer your questions and help you make the right decisions for your business.

Digital Crisis provides customized managed IT support with the tools you need to make informed decisions about the security of your organization. We assist businesses in operating smarter, not harder.

Contact us today!

Find Some Time To Talk

We make IT work

Providing superior, high-quality, and professional IT services 
in the Houston Area.

Digital Crisis LLC

Houston IT Support
Business Hours

Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm CST
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Emergency Support: 24/7
Houston Office
5718 Westheimer Rd.
Suite 1000
Houston, TX 77057
Minneapolis Office
333 N Washington Ave Suite 300-9007, Minneapolis, MN 55401
A Houston IT Service Provider
© 2009-2022 DIGITAL CRISIS, LLC  
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram