The Eyes Have It: More Employers Keep Watch

The Eyes Have It: More Employers Keep Watch

Steve LeSueur

Does your boss know you're reading Washington Technology right now? If you're reading it online during work hours, your boss might know.

A recent survey by the American Management Association found 78 percent of major U.S. companies monitor employee use of e-mail and the Internet. Among their concerns, companies want to ensure that workers do not use up valuable bandwidth, spend too much time away from job-related tasks, or download material, such as pornographic photographs, that could trigger other workplace problems.

Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery talked to lawyers and business experts about the growing use of Web monitoring by corporate America and what this means for businesses and employees. Not all companies tell employees about their monitoring activities, and that's a big mistake, they said.

While companies are well within their rights to control how company computer systems are used, experts said companies also should clearly inform employees about expectations, boundaries and monitoring policies. Otherwise, they could end up demoralizing their workers and discouraging performance ? just the opposite of the desired effect of monitoring.

Show Gail's front-page story to your boss. Or read it online at work.




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