Time is money is a concept which is quite relevant to our world today. A number of tools have also emerged along with advances in technology which companies can make use of in order to monitor the work environment. The question of why businesses would want to use these tools is no longer a difficult one as it is due to the distractions at the workplace which prevent employees from doing their work on time with social media and smart phones being amongst the most common examples. With the line between the personal and professional also getting blurred, matters become worse as the work for both is often done on the same gadget. But it should also be kept in mind that just because an employee is working in a company doesn’t mean that he has lost all his privacy rights. Due to this, HR departments are required to make good decisions with respect to employee monitoring and include factors such as the environment where work takes place, the industry as a whole and the relationships between employees and employer in order to achieve success in the business sector.
HR has a twofold role to play with respect to employee monitoring. First of all, they are given the task of devising such a policy, the importance of which can’t be forced enough. It is up to this department to decide whether employee monitoring software’s will be made use of, whether the computer and phone will also be part of this monitoring and whether the internet usage of the employee will be monitored as well. While it may not be necessary for employees to agree to the policies, but signing the form generally suggests that they are aware of these policies and their signature tends to count as them giving consent. The second role of the HR department is to make sure that all monitoring procedures are implemented correctly and according to the law in place as well.
Phones come first when what can be monitored is considered. Businesses can record any business related conversations which take place on phones owned by the company. A lot of states keep a requirement that the employee should be made aware if and when the call he is making is being recorded. States also prevent businesses from listening in on employees’ personal calls with them being required to hang up as soon as they become aware that the call is a personal one. Computers too can be monitored and are perhaps the most relevant when it comes to monitoring. Businesses also tend to monitor internet usage a great deal and this is mostly dependent upon the employer himself or the company.
It should be kept in mind that employees have their own rights and are aware of it, especially with monitoring of the workplace increasing with time. While companies which have a clear policy are legally allowed to monitor their employees, the monitoring which is conducted should be free from bias or personal motivation. This is where the role of the HR comes into play where they need to play the role of a watchdog over the management and make sure that nothing is out of place.