A quarter of tech employees on Blind say their company conducts 'unreasonable' monitoring
- In a true-or-false survey of 6,707 anonymous app users by Blind, 25.8% said their company "goes to unreasonable lengths to monitor employees." Booking.com employees represented the highest percentage of respondents at any one company answering "true" at 54.12%, followed by Intel (43.5%), Snapchat (40%), PayPal (38.6%) and Veritas (37.7%). The lowest percentage of respondents answering in the affirmative were at Spotify, at 4.7%.
- Employers are increasingly adopting tech that allows for electronic monitoring of employees, according to Blind, citing research from SAGE Business Researcher. Per SAGE, the number of employees using some type of electronic monitoring is now at 67%.
- Not all companies spy on employees, but some do, Blind said. A survey by the Bentley Center for Business Ethics found 25% of employers allow information technology staff to look at other workers' internet activity and personal emails for any reason. Blind said electronic surveillance is likely to cause stress for employees and decrease their job satisfaction.
Workers don't usually object to employers digitally measuring work-related activities, such as business emails, recruitment, retention and turnover, but they're generally uncomfortable with employers monitoring their personal activities. HR Metrics & Analytics Summit released a study in June showing that 72% of employees object to being electronically surveilled over their own emails, internet use and other personal activity.
Electronic surveillance creates ethical concerns for workers, who may fear privacy violations. That could put employee retention, engagement and productivity at stake, so HR may want to collaborate with IT and other departments, as well as leadership, to create data ethics policies that specify what kinds of information will be collected and how that data will be stored and used. That advice is even more pertinent in the age of increased scrutiny of data-sharing practices by tech companies, experts previously told HR Dive. Employers who engage in electronic surveillance might need to reconsider how they use the data, or if the practice is even necessary.
Questions about electronically monitoring workers will likely grow more complicated over time. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives workers the right to know what data about them is being collected, how the data is to be used, how long it's to be stored and where it will be sent. Employers operating globally could find the regulation exceptionally challenging if more countries begin drafting their own regulations.