Workplace privacy and employee monitoring in social media


Technology allows employers to monitor many aspects of their employees’ workplace activities.  While employees may feel that such monitoring is a violation of their privacy rights, many types of monitoring are allowed under the law.  A majority of employers monitor their employees.

Employee monitoring allows a business to track employee activities and monitor worker engagement with job related tasks. Various businesses using employee monitoring can measure productivity, track attendance, ensure security and collect proof of hours worked.

Employers use technology to provide insight into employee behaviour based on the trail of “digital footprints” created each day in the workplace. This technology can piece together all of these electronic records to provide behaviour patterns that employers may utilize to evaluate employee performance and conduct.

Tools like modern employee monitoring software are a new implementation, but the practice itself has been around for a long time. In fact, the first timesheet was invented in 1888. Now, we can track not just how much time people spend at work, but how productive they are, monitor internet usage, which applications they use most, what tasks they struggle with, when they work best, and more.

Types of Employee Monitoring Systems:-

  • Internet and app usage.
  • Keystroke logging.
  • Computer screen recording.
  • Phone use.
  • Video/audio surveillance.
  • GPS tracking by vehicle.
  • Location tracking by access badge.

Pros and cons of employee monitoring in social media:-


  • Fewer errors
  • More transparency
  • Less administrative work


  • Effect on morale.
  • Perceived lack of privacy.
  • Higher turnover.
  • Legal issues.

Monitoring employees’ activities on company computers and other devices is important because employers need to know how their devices are being used in their absence. Employees generally have no right to privacy in the workplace. There is, however, a balancing that must be implemented to ensure an employee’s right to privacy in the virtual realm with the employer’s right to monitor and access an employee’s actions that impact the organization.


A social media policy should include the following key areas of concern:-

  • Employees should identify themselves when promoting the company’s product or services or linking to the company’s website or products;
  • Employees shall not violate copyright laws;
  • Employees shall not disclose confidential information related to the company.
  • Unless clearly work-related, social networking activities should be kept separate from work;
  • Employees shall not represent that their personal opinions are the views of the company.
  • Employees shall not disclose personal health information;
  • Employees not use company’s electronic systems for any illegal activity; and
  • Policy should be acknowledged and signed by employee.

Different ways employers are monitoring:-

  • Video surveillance.
  • Telephone surveillance
  • Computer surveillance.
  • Company equipment surveillance.

Tips for Legally and Ethically Monitoring Employees Online:-

  • Set written policies.
  • Inform your workforce.
  • Use technology tools.

Best practices for lawfully monitoring your employees:-

  • Use caution when reviewing social media in the hiring process.
  • Update your social media policies.
  • Screen sparingly.
  • Apply social media policies consistently.
  • Protect your company’s confidential information.


You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *