Based on the above article, companies invest a great deal of time and technology monitoring the non-work related behaviors of their workers. The purpose is to drive productivity on teams by removing distractions and ensuring that workers focus on value creating activities while on the clock.

What are they looking for? The amount of time spent surfing the web for non-job related searches. The amount of time spent away from one’s workstation while still clocked in. Workers at times struggle to completely separate personal and professional lives. To leave what they do for entertainment, hobbies, or chores at home and not the office. That does not mean they are unproductive employees.

At the same time, private employers have the right to track the actions and behaviors of their employers while on company property. Unless one works for government, there is no expectation of privacy protection. The fourth amendment only applies to government actions. Many investors might find it irresponsible if companies did not have programs that ensured workers are productive and not doing things that place the company at risk.

The company needs to balance productivity programs with workplace culture. Workers want to treated as valued people and useful assets, not simply robotic work machines. Employees should understand how their employers are monitoring them. Transparency can be a powerful deterrent.

Going forward, workers need to understand that nothing they do at work is secret.

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