Your Boss Is Watching You

April 21st, 2008

Want to read something scary? Check out this article on AOL about all of the wily ways that your  company can track what you’re doing in and out of the office.

You’re probably aware that it’s possible for your employer to spy on your email and your computer usage. But did you know that corporations also use video monitoring, phone surveillance and radio frequency ID cards to keep tabs on employees?

If you’re naive like I used to be, you may have allowed yourself to be lulled into a false sense of privacy at work. After all, why would your company bother to watch every little move you make? As long as you don’t download porn or blog about your manager’s bad breath, you’re probably fine. Right?

Sorry, no. It seems some companies have plenty of time and resources to keep tabs on employees’ every email, phone call, and bathroom break. Here’s the awful truth:

  • The ID card that gets you into the office may have an embedded radio transmitter that tracks when you enter and leave the office. Better not linger at Starbucks.
  • Employers really do monitor email and 28% of surveyed companies have fired workers for e-mail misuse.  62% were fired for inappropriate  language in email, 26% for personal email use, and 22% for violating company confidentially.
  • Some companies now use software that keeps track of employee printing down to individual print jobs. Better wait to print out that resume until you get home.
  • Your boss could be monitoring your every keystroke at work in real time — including your typing speed, your Internet patterns, and what software you use. Nearly half of companies surveyed capture and save this data.
  • Almost half of companies surveyed use video office surveillance, though most do inform employees if they are being recorded.

Creeped out yet? Well then, you better get back to work (and maybe delete some of those personal emails). Oh yeah, and smile pretty for the camera in the ceiling.

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