Big Brother At Work: 8 Ways to Monitor Employees

By Jana Rooheart

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In our times, Orwell's predictions start to come true. Many employers use modern video-recording systems, audio-recording programs and Internet technologies that allow you to spy on any person. It looks like employers ignore the fact that such measures cause stress and dissatisfaction in workers.   

According to the HeadHunter portal, the majority of office workers are aware that they are monitored at work. Nevertheless, every third worker has had troubles because of that. Most often these troubles involve being caught using social networks, surfing entertainment websites or chatting with friends.

The research conducted by The National Workrights Institute showed that two out of three American employers monitor their workers with the help of different technologies. The results show that it actually works. Due to such a control the number of thefts dropped by 22% and the receipts increased by 7%.  


Monitoring Your Internet Activity

An employee of one American company once Googled "bomb made with a pressure cooker". The bosses called the police after that, obviously. So, if you don't want to have big problems, better don't look for information that may seem suspicious. Study the rules of using the Internet in your company and don't break them.



Although your employee cannot attach a GPS system to your personal car, many corporate vehicles do have it. If, instead of going to a meeting with a client, you go to grab a bite, your boss will know about it. Thus, if you need to fill the tank or wait till the thunderstorm is over, better inform your boss about it to avoid problems. 


Spying Programs

These are the programs that record all the actions on a computer. Your employer can see your conversations in Skype or social networks, your passwords, the websites you visit and the apps you use. Now, spying programs spread on mobile phones, as well. If you use a corporate smartphone, be ready that your actions are monitored. If you play games instead of working, you may have problems. Even your private texts can be tracked by an app like So, leave your private texting for after work.  


E-mail Monitoring

Probably, in your work contract or other document you signed at your job placement, there is a note about tracking your e-mails. And it concerns not only your corporate e-mail box. Your boss can see your personal letters sent from corporate computers even if you use your personal mail-box.

Actually, in the US, there is a law about the confidentiality of electron coupling that limits monitoring e-mails. However, it is not very effective. Today employers skillfully get round this confidentiality law. Be reasonable when e-mailing at work. Don't send confidential information from your work computer and don't look for a new job at work.    


Social Networks

Social networks and blogs have long ago become the source of information about a person. For an employer, it is a comfortable way to know things about employees. They can even do it openly by friending you on Facebook, for example. Be careful posting inappropriate material as your boss might be watching. A number of layoffs caused by inappropriate behavior in social networks grows every year.   


Audio Recording

Recording of phone calls, as well as conversations in office rooms and smoking rooms is becoming a common practice among employers. Be careful complaining about your boss or working conditions.


Video Recording

You probably are well aware that employers use video monitoring of their workers. Many companies set cameras in offices, corporate vehicles, meeting rooms, etc.    


Out-of-office Behavior

Side work, smoking, unusual hobby: if your bosses don't like anything of those things, they can fire you even if you do it out of office.

Remember that your working place is under a total control. Computers, phones, vehicles, etc. can all let your boss know what you do in office and when you come to work and leave. If you want to keep the job, make sure you are very careful with those things.   


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