Because trust is something we can lose very easily, internet monitoring might be a good idea for some businesses to consider using. 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. Installing surveillance programs onto a work computer as a punishment can be an effective way of showing workers they need to use company resources solely for their work. On the other hand, it is also important to recognize the disadvantages of internet monitoring.
Businesses, which lack professional cultures, may have to resort to workplace monitoring as a feeble attempt to ensure employees behave properly when they access the internet. Though workplace monitoring can help make certain employees remain safe and focused on their work, it is not a substitutive for strong work ethics. As such, internet monitoring may be used to compensate for a lack of ethics and professionalism, yet it will only solve one issue facing a workforce lacking the ethics and other values that ensure workers can be productive employees.
Meanwhile, emphasizing the fact someone is always watching can breed distrust and resentment, thus reinforcing a lack of professionalism in the workplace. If an employer expects employees to behave responsibly, internet monitoring can undermine the professional nature of the environment as professionals must have room to make their own decisions. In addition, no one wants to be treated like a child while doing so encourages resentment. The fallout from this type of treatment can be a workforce bent on finding ways around efforts to monitor their behavior or other means of exacting revenge.
Furthermore, no matter how well management thinks it can monitor its subordinates, there are ways around that oversight. As such, employers must invest time into developing trusted employees, who have strong work ethics, versus wasting the more valuable time and energy of managers on spying games. Beyond safety concerns from hackers looking to steal company information and plant viruses, employers must be careful as monitoring can easily waste resources and undermine the productivity of the leadership.
With privacy issues sparking debates and lawsuits across the Country, a failure to inform employees that they are being monitored can also result in even greater costs. If employees are to be monitored in the work environment, they should be aware of the fact that their behavior is being watched and scrutinized. Even if surveillance software is used to monitor company computers, privacy issues still apply. At the same time, this software can also cause harm to a company, if an employee is working on sensitive material and the wrong supervisor or employee gains access to that information
For businesses where workplace monitoring is necessary to encourage employees to act like professionals, balance is essential. 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, yet it cannot be a substitute for quality employees and effective leadership. Those who rely too heavily on this technology will find the disadvantages it brings can be quite harmful to the workplace.