Pros and Cons of Workplace Surveillance | Baldwin Legal InvestigationsThere are a number of reasons why an employer might choose to adopt workplace surveillance to monitor how employees are spending their time — online and in person. There are also several reasons you might not want to use surveillance in the workplace. Here are some pros and cons of workplace surveillance.

Pros of electronic workplace surveillance:

  • Can reveal unproductive or inappropriate use of company electronic devices and internet services, including:
    • Emails that violate company policy, use inappropriate language, or breach confidentiality
    • Excessive personal use
    • Visits to inappropriate websites such as gaming, pornography, entertainment, or social networking sites
  • Can help to alleviate productivity issues within a company
  • May prevent employees from visiting sites that create a hostile work environment
  • Can provide documentation and a record of online activity (for use in potential legal situations)
  • May prevent theft, violence, and sabotage

Cons of electronic workplace surveillance:

  • Use of surveillance may negatively affect the relationship between an employer and employees
  • May contradict a desired work culture that emphasizes trust, commitment, and motivation on the parts of employees
  • Personal online activity can (and sometimes does) overlap with business. Employees often do work at home as well as attending to some personal business at work. Many businesses don’t mind the overlap.
  • Surveillance might be an invasion of the privacy rights of employees

Regardless of any surveillance decisions, it is important that your company have strong computer, internet, and email policies, and take steps to ensure that your employees are familiar with these policies. Baldwin Legal Investigations is experienced at assessing security in the workplace and can be of assistance if you are considering a surveillance program. Get in touch with one of our private investigators today.