Some things in life need not be explained. Geo-tracking your company vehicles and monitoring employees’ activities while on the clock is quickly becoming a mainstream practice.
There are obstacles an employer needs to overcome before policy adoption rate is 100%. Like all things, knowledge is power and communication is the key. The following are some “good to know” items designed to help employers and employees accept the practice of monitoring in the work environment – and, in fact, feel good about the results.
Communicate early and obtain employee’s written consent of your outlined Monitoring/Tracking policies.
Legal Limits of Employee Monitoring: Generally speaking, employers have the right to monitor employees on the job – with some limitations. Always check with your legal representative for specific laws in your state or profession.
Federal Law: Employers may have the right to monitor employees’ activities via email or GPS as they perform their work, although eavesdropping is not so clear cut. Placing microphones/bugs in the office area is generally legal, but a microphone in the cafeteria where one could assume they are free to speak about personal ideas and comments, is not; cameras/bugs in the locker rooms and bathrooms – a big “no-no”.
State Law: State Laws about workplace monitoring efforts vary, mostly around consent issues—whether the monitoring occurs via e-mail, audio/video or Geo-tracking. It is recommended that you communicate with employees about monitoring and get written confirmation of employees consent. Employees should also have the availability to turn off tracking devices during non-work hours.
The Bad (as you can see a much shorter list)
The Commentary: Keep the human aspect of running your company in the forefront. Machine monitoring is practical and should be part of every company strategy, as it is nowadays, so affordable. But, the value of remembering team spirit, with individual personalities and ideas — should not be pushed off to the side. Open monitoring can improve workforce moral, safety, and profitability. Go Team on the Run.