Top 10 concerns employees have about monitoring in the workplace & how to avoid them

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This article is put together by the WorkTime team of employee computer monitoring experts.

In this article, you’ll learn:
– The top 10 concerns employees raise about workplace surveillance.
– How to monitor work computers and ensure that your employees feel confident about their privacy.

Computer monitoring & productivity monitoring

Employers have the right to monitor company-owned devices and employee productivity to protect business interests. Employee computer monitoring software is one of the most commonly used surveillance tools for this purpose. The employee monitoring software market offers an array of choices. However! Most of the software providers of this competitive market are focused on quantity and not quality. They want to add as many features to the software as possible without considering whether these functions are useful or not. Most of these ”extra” feature end up being too invasive or violating employee privacy. Besides, many of these features may not even be great for your monitoring goals.

Before implementing employee monitoring software, it is essential to have clearly defined business goals.
Also, steer clear of any monitoring software that offers spy-like functionality. A spy-like functionality is a feature that can record private information about your employees — for example, keystrokes or screenshots. If your monitoring goals include staying informed about the use of computers, software, and employee productivity, then none of the above-mentioned spy-like functions will achieve this.

The main worry of employees

Employees have a lot of questions about computer monitoring in the workplace. Yet, their privacy is the main concern. Employees are concerned about being secretly spied on. They’re also worried that something private will be recorded and revealed as a result of the monitoring. These concerns usually arise when it comes to video surveillance and monitoring of private devices.

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So, what other top 10 concerns your employees have?

Top 10 concerns employees have about their privacy in the workplace

Here are the top 10 questions that employees have about their privacy at the workplace and answers to these questions:

1. Can my employer spy on my home computer via Citrix/Terminal/Remote Desktop sessions when I work from home?

A: NO, your employer cannot spy on your home computer through Citrix/Terminal Server sessions.
Remote Desktop, Citrix, and Terminal server sessions are not designed to access your home computer.
You do not need to worry about being spied on your personal computer via a remote desktop session.

To monitor your home computer or a personal laptop, your employer has to obtain access. Remote desktop sessions do not grant any access without permission. Your employer is not allowed to monitor your home computer without your consent.

2. Can my employer see me at home via Citrix, Terminal, and Remote Desktop sessions?

A: NO, your employer cannot see you at home through the Citrix/Terminal Server or Remote Desktop sessions.
The way this technology works, it is not possible in general.

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3. Can my employer monitor my home computer or personal laptop?

A: In general the answer is “NO”.
This concern often arises when people work from home.
To monitor your home computer or a personal laptop, your employer has to obtain access.
Please refer to #1. The idea is the same.

4. Can my employer spy on my personal phone?

A: NO, your employer cannot spy on your personal phone.
Your employer must request access to your personal phone to be able to monitor it.
Also, your employer is not allowed to monitor your personal phone without your consent.

5. Can my employer spy on my personal phone or laptop when connected to the company’s WIFI?

A: NO, your employer cannot spy on your personal phone or laptop even when using the company’s WIFI. Please refer to #3. The idea is the same.
Your employer can track what websites you are visiting via the company’s WIFI (the URLs), not the content or passwords. Anyway, these days, data is usually encrypted using HTTPS and tls protocols.

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6. Can my employer see messages on my personal phone?

A: NO, your employer cannot see messages on your personal phone.
Unless there is a video camera focused directly on your phone screen or your boss is watching over your shoulder. Remember, some people still rely on old monitoring ways. Otherwise, please refer to #4. The idea is the same.

7. Can my employer monitor my Citrix, Terminal, and Remote Desktop sessions?

A: YES, your employer can and has the right to monitor your Citrix, Terminal, and Remote Desktop sessions.
We mean to say, your employer can monitor what is going on within the session itself and not on the device where the session is executed.

8. Can my employer monitor my work computer?

A: YES, your employer is in a position and has the right to monitor the company-owned computers.
Employers expect their employees to use computers provided by the company for work purposes and be productive during work hours. This is what employees are paid for.

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9. Can my employer monitor me from a work computer through a built-in camera?

A: YES, your employer can monitor you from a workplace computer through a built-in camera.
To do this, special monitoring software has to be installed on your computer. Although this is not a common practice, some employers in the US do this. How do you find out if you’re being monitored with this little in-built camera? Just stick some chewing gum (or scotch tape) to your computer camera. If your employer doesn’t talk to you about how important it is to keep this ”little eye” clear, he’s probably not monitoring you.

To employers: you can’t imagine what people do in front of their computers when they think nobody is watching! You just don’t want to see it.

10. Can my employer monitor my private messages on work computers and in remote desktop sessions?

A: YES, your employer can and has the right to monitor everything in the Citrix, Terminal, and Remote Desktop sessions and on work computers.
Refer to #7. The idea is the same.

How to keep your employees confident about their privacy?

When it comes to implementing employee computer monitoring software, there is a comprehensive list of recommendations on managing employee monitoring in your workplace, ensuring a stress-free environment, and protecting employees’ privacy. (Get this free eBook from WorkTime to read more about it.) We also take pride in the fact that WorkTime is the only pure productivity monitoring software on the market. It offers non-invasive functions essential for monitoring computer, software, and internet use, as well as employee productivity.

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Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for general understanding only and not to be taken as legal advice. For example, if your employer is the CIA, we cannot guarantee you anything. Additionally, please consult your lawyer to seek professional legal advice.

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