Privacy in business

Should Companies Cut-Off Employee Rights For Better Asset Protection?

In a time when data and security breaches are on a rise, it is inevitable for the businesses to employ strict security measures for protecting their assets and employees. Nonetheless, these measures are usually unappreciated or downright condemned by the employees.

The staff consider such restrictions violation of employee rights, or simply, overly protective. Yet, despite such conflicts of opinions triggering bitter work ambiance, the businesses do not step back from adopting such policies.

Does it mean that the employers are trying to limit employee rights at large? Or, are they really succeeding at securing their assets through these measures? Let’s take a look!

Common Employee Monitoring Practices

Usually, employee monitoring (or limitations on employee rights from an employee’s perspective) includes tracking of various means of communication provided to the staff. For instance,

  • Companies can put various restrictions on website accessibility by the staff. For example, some employers ban social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, to prevent their staff from wasting time on such websites. Likewise, restricting inappropriate or violent content from being accessed on the company’s internet is also a common practice.

  • Employers can also track employees’ emails. They can do this either through various tracking or spying software or by manual review of emails.

  • Some employers also employ phone tracking. This is usually done by companies offering customer support services, call centers, telecom industries, or those managing bulk of their work via phone calls.

  • For companies managing with freelancers, the employers usually apply screen monitoring procedures to ensure that the person on the other end of the screen remains productive.

  • Most companies managing user or employee data tend to restrict user access to a few dedicated and relevant personnel only.

Pros And Cons Of Tracking Employees

Employee tracking or monitoring is quite a debatable topic when it comes to being right or wrong. From an employers’ perspective, it is always right. Whereas, an employee would hardly agree to the employer on this.

For companies, employee monitoring gives various benefits. For instance,

  • With proactive tracking of employees, the companies can assure better use of their resources offered to the staff, as they will refrain wasting their time on other activities.

  • When employers are aware of the activities and work progress of the staff, they can rectify and even prevent any blunders well before they cause any damages.

  • One of the notable promises that companies make to their employees is the provision of a secure work environment. Nonetheless, considering the diversity of the employees working together, it is usually difficult for the firms to ensure safe working. Tracking the staff, however, ensures a peaceful working environment.

  • Keeping larger teams in sync is usually difficult unless the staff is being proactively monitored. This kind of monitoring develops a connection between the heads and the junior staff. This not only applies to the office environment but for remote working as well.

  • Monitoring calls, messages, and emails also help the firms improve their operations by considering real-time user experience and feedback.

Nonetheless, despite so many benefits, such a strong staff monitoring has its own cons as well. Such as

  • With non-stop tracking, the employees are compelled to work throughout the allotted time, without break. This usually exhausts the staff – both physically and mentally.

  • Constant tracking stresses the employees for completing the work. Even if they are unable to complete the work due to inevitable reasons, they find it difficult to justify themselves.

  • Employees may feel distrusted due to monitoring and limitations.

  • Restrictions on accessing various company systems may make working difficult.

  • Employees may feel discomfort and lack of privacy by working under such limitations.

Impact On Asset And Employee Security

Although, monitoring the staff and work operations is an additional expense on the firms. Moreover, it also causes discomfort for the employers as well to keep an eye on the entire workforce. Nonetheless, it is a fact that such vigilant tracking can greatly help in alleviating security lapses.

For instance, with efficient employee tracking, there are least chances of security breaches by insiders. Likewise, minimizing the access of irrelevant staff to the company’s databases and assets can also ensure better security.

The threat actors wage numerous phishing attacks on companies by sending various emails. The workers, particularly those who are ignorant of security issues, are likely to click on emails with alluring subject lines such as ‘check out this site, or ‘important notice’, etc. With vigilant email monitoring, the employers can simply restrict all unsolicited emails from reaching the company’s server, or the employees’ mailboxes, thereby minimizing such threats.

Although, no one likes to be monitored – not even on workplaces. However, if the companies maintain transparency, convey their purposes behind such measures to the employees, and stay cooperative with the staff, they can certainly continue with all the security policies without hurting their employees.