Your Employer is Spying on You
A great number of companies are using modern technologies for monitoring employees’ phone calls, emails, and even movements. Read about everything you might be interested in:
How can employees be tracked?
Actually, they can be tracked in many ways. If you use office computer for work, it gives your boss opportunity legally monitor company email, as well as browser history.
But, at the same time, it is possible to check your productivity looking for the services you use and what you type on Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail. If you use work cellphone out of the office, your location could be pinpointed by the employer with the help of GPS. According to American Management Association, we may find out that approximately 70% of American companies spy their employers’ Internet activity and 43% check their emails.
Not only office workers are the only ones to be tracked: people, who work in the warehouses of Amazon website, have to wear special tablets to record their speed of how they trade with shoppers; the same thing is with nurses, who wear badges to watch the frequency of their hand washing. Consequently, a personal privacy in today’s workplace becomes a large delusion.
Why did bosses start spying on their workers?
Generally, they have been always interested in their employees’ activity. For instance, famous Henry Ford used to keep track of his workers’ actions personally with a stopwatch in order to increase the overall efficiency.
Moreover, he didn’t grudge hiring private investigators to keep track of their private lives to ensure problems at home didn’t affect their work performance. Nowadays modern technologies allow utilizing more convenient ways to spy on every employee.
Don’t be surprised: even at McDonald’s special machines are used to capture how many customers a particular worker has served. This way the boss can find out each of the employee’s efficiency and make a decision whether he or she is useful for business.
Does it actually work?
Almost always. Studies of 5 chain eateries in 2013 have shown that their surveillance systems helped to lower theft by almost 22% and increase revenues on 7%. In 2009 United Parcel Service (UPC) has put sensors in its delivery trucks to keep track on how fast and when they deliver packages.
The results were quite impressive: four years later the company managed to deliver more than a million additional packages per day with less number of trucks than it was before. Obviously, people start worrying about getting the sack, therefore, it makes them work faster and harder.
Who is monitoring?
Usually, it’s done automatically, with a help of special machines and computer programs: they scan employee’s email and social network accounts to capture suspicious files, words, phrases etc. What is considered as, an inappropriate content is obviously up to each company: there could be special alerts when an office worker is detected to use pornographic content, swear words or phrases shows any offensive behavior towards others. However, this is not the only thing the employer is concerned.
Is there anything more?
Absolutely, there is. Sometimes companies track if their workers want to be dismissed through a constant check of their Google requests for job-listing websites or resume writing companies. Sometimes bosses insist on a one-on-one talk to figure out reasons why they wish to quit and take steps to convince them to stay. Nevertheless, if employees discover they were being spied through Google searches, it may seriously affect the boss-subordinate relationships.
Can employees do anything to stop this tracking?
Not really. When signing out the contracts between a manager and a worker, the last ones give permission to track any data, collected with a help of office equipment. though some employees didn’t choose to put up.
For example, a former sales executive from Intermex filed a lawsuit against the firm, because she was unfairly dismissed due to deleting an app from her work phone, which used to track her daily activity, even off duty. Generally, employment experts advise everyone to stop doing anything private with their computer or a cell phone, since all the information can be easily revealed. Even if you’re told you are not being spied, don’t be so naive: you probably are.
Surely, nobody would like their boss to read personal emails, know your exact locations at exact time, as well as monitor your cell phone conversations or become aware of the desire to edit resume. Analytics of Sociometric Solutions have found a great alternative: they supply many companies with special badges that contain a microphone, location sensor and an accelerometer not in order to record individuals’ data, but watch how some of their interactions interfere work performance.
For example, Bank of America has stated that its workers feel more productive after having a 15-minute break with a group of their colleagues. Ben Waber, a chief executive officer of Sociometric Solutions, assures: “I want people to start liking their workplace, respectively work harder”.