Taking an ethical approach to employee surveillance

When is monitoring unethical, and how can communicators ensure it’s done right?

Here's how to surveil employees ethically

If you’ve worked in a remote or hybrid situation, you probably know about “the mouse trick.” Sometimes you might need to go toss your laundry in the dryer or go meet with the super of your apartment building about a leaky sink, and you might jiggle your mouse so your messaging apps like Slack or Teams show you as active all the time.

While most employers aren’t going to think it’s too big a deal if you attend to minor personal business during the day (particularly if you let them know first), some will employ monitoring software to ensure that staff members are staying on task and at their desks.

However, there are ethical and privacy concerns that can come to the forefront when companies overstep these monitoring boundaries. Let’s explore just what digital employee monitoring entails and how it can be done the right way.

What does monitoring achieve?

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