To What Extent Can You Monitor Your Staff At Work?

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As a manager, it can be hard to keep an eye on each one of your employees especially if you run a large business, are off the premises regularly or if you have staff that work remotely.
One of your biggest worries can often be that your staff are either being overworked – and not being recognised for it – or not working hard enough.
But is “excessive” surveillance really the answer?

56% of workers, according to a report by the TUC, believe that they are probably being monitored whilst at work.
49% say their employer is likely to be monitoring their emails, files and browser history, 45% said they think they are being watched on CCTV and 42% believe that their calls are being logged and recorded.

This may just be a case of paranoia in a time where it has almost become the norm to be followed by cameras and tracked wherever you go (in fact, recent research has shown that the average person in the UK is likely to get caught on CCTV camera 70 times a day).
However, it does hold some weight as modern technology has made it somewhat easier to discreetly keep an eye on employees.

Yet, with introductions of new privacy laws such as GDPR, employers should be warier of discreet surveillance and, instead, embrace a more open and honest approach.

You may be able to make the argument that certain methods of surveillance, such as CCTV cameras, are in the best interests of your staff, particularly if you or some neighbours have recently had a break-in or any reason to believe that your employees’ safety is at risk.
In these circumstances, you should conduct an impact assessment and display clear signs that indicate to your employees that they are being watched

By providing open communication and clear boundaries, your employees are less likely to feel violated or any distrust towards you.

Though there is no law against installing CCTV cameras in the workplace and monitoring your staff inside and outside of work, you should always consider alternative methods of surveillance.

How You Can Keep A Closer Eye on Your Employees at Work

You should always respect your employees’ rights to privacy, but you also have a right to monitor their performance and workload. However, there are less controversial methods of monitoring your staff besides camera surveillance, recording phone conversations or checking their browser history.

Bear in mind that any sort of monitoring can seem intrusive and there will always be employees who feel uncomfortable about it, so before you make any decisions or changes to the business, you should always discuss it with your staff first, carry out an impact assessment and get their thoughts and feedback.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding monitoring your staff, then please call us on 0845 2626 260 and we can connect you to one of our professional HR consultants

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