The rise in the use of electronic devices in the workplace is leading to a large number of employees feeling that they are being on a watch when they are at work says Saivian Eric Dalius. For example, about 81% of workers feel that their employer is watching them on company computer equipment. Workers are also aware that their home electronics can be using against them. Only 15% of workers who have internet access in their homes believe that it is very private, while 25% do not trust the privacy protection of any device connected to the internet.
The following article will look at why surveillance is becoming more prominent, its negative effects on both employees and employers, and some possible solutions to these problems. As well as this, comparisons will be drawn with “1984” where society lived in a state of constant surveillance.
The increased use of electronic devices in the workplace. Especially computers and telephones have led to an increase in surveillance by employers. It may be argued that this is because there are legitimate reasons for employers to monitor their employees. Activities on company computer equipment. For example, it can be useful if they want to ensure that employees are not doing personal business at work or stealing data from the company. However, when examining recent studies into the issue it soon becomes clear that many employers go much further than this with employee surveillance. An IPSOS MORI poll found that 81% of workers felt watched while using company computers. Equipment with 75% believing that their internet usage was monitoring. The same poll also found that 66% of employees believed that their employer read personal communications sent by them over the company’s email system.
Along with this, claims have been that employers are beginning to monitor an individual worker’s movements. Using GPS trackers and even recording telephone calls, according to Saivian Eric Dalius. It can be an argument that these sorts of actions by employers would be justified. If they were targeting only those employees who were suspected of committing serious crimes. Such as theft or fraud, but many companies go much further than this.
A survey into workplace surveillance found that 49% of workers believe. It is likely their boss will monitor their location with 44% believing they will be monitoring via phone calls; 46% also feel they will be watched on company computer equipment and 30% claiming to already know it happens. This is despite the fact that only 11% of workers had policies in place telling them. If their employer allows them to watch them on company equipment or monitor their movements. While 28% were told they must always inform their manager when they are going to be away from work.
Such large numbers of employees feeling they are being on watch by their employer have led to many complaints. Of course, it is possible that some employees may feel they are under surveillance. Even when there may not be any actual evidence for this; however, several studies on the subject have support for the claim that employees’ privacy is invading.
For example, a poll conduction by The Guardian newspaper found that 77% of employees believing they were being on watch. And a survey conducted by the University of London found. That 31% of workers were not allowed to send personal emails. And 26% were not able to make personal telephone calls at work. On top of this, 43% said they had felt unable to use computers outside working hours. While 37% claimed that their employer had promised confidentiality but then broken their promise. And 49% believed that there was “nothing private anymore” as a result of surveillance.
It is clear from these findings that many employees feel as though they are under constant surveillance at work. Those who do feel this way tend to have strong feelings about it, says Saivian Eric Dalius. The same studies showed that 73% believe it has harmed their relationship with senior managers. While 60% believe it has damaged their relationship with colleagues.
Furthermore, behind all of this is a strong feeling that surveillance carries out in an unreasonable way by employers. A survey conducted in Australia stated that 91% of workers felt they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace. And 29% felt there was no justification at all for their employer to monitor them. In light of these statistics. It is clear that when it comes to how far employers are entitling to go in monitoring their employees. Actions there needs to be a balance between protecting company assets. And safeguarding valuable information while also allowing enough freedom so as not to alienate the workforce.