Many businesses, especially those lacking a professional culture, may have to resort to workplace monitoring in order to ensure employees behave properly. Workplace monitoring can, however, help make certain employees remain safe and focused on their work. Beyond the need to monitor the actual workspace with cameras and other forms of surveillance equipment, monitoring company computers and the internet activity of employees is one issue that businesses might have to consider.
Quite frankly, surveillance programs are rather cheap and easy to install, thus monitoring work computers is probably very inexpensive. Meanwhile, just the idea of potential oversight might be enough to discourage many prospective wrongdoers and it gives employers the opportunity to spot check how their employees work. For some businesses, this can be very useful when trying to increase productivity. With real time monitoring, management might even be able to stop inappropriate, or harmful, behavior before it occurs versus setting up employees and the company for failure.
Meanwhile, trust is something we can lose, yet is also something we can earn back. Where an employee has spurned his or her supervisor with poor judgment, a lack of trust may push the supervisor to scrutinize that employee’s behavior more closely. Certainly, monitoring an individual’s ework as a punishment can be an effective way of showing all workers they need to behave. At the same time, transparency can also translate into greater trust between managers and subordinates as workplace leaders will know their charges are doing what they should be doing.
On the other hand, no matter how well managers think they can monitor their subordinates, there are ways around that oversight. As such, employers must invest time into developing trusted employees who have strong work ethics instead of fostering a culture of distrust and resentment. Internet monitoring should always, however, be used to keep employees safe when possible, even from personal online scams and viruses. Outside of this application, employers must be careful as they could be wasting resources or breeding hostilities in the workplace.
For most businesses, balance in workplace monitoring is necessary to encourage employees to act like professionals. It is, therefore, important for employers to use internet monitoring first as a tool to keep employees safe and focused then to ensure they behave. Where misbehavior is an issue, internet monitoring may be a very good solution while for work environments, where professionalism is an essential prerequisite for success, there may also be a need for a stronger effort on behalf of management to develop the workforce.