The Bottom Line: Is Your Boss Spying On You?


Nowadays, most companies have undergone a digital transformation, making technology an inextricable part of their employees’ daily tasks. However, as companies make that shift, a new digital ethos is also emerging. One of the main areas employees are often concerned about is how closely their work is monitored and tracked on company workstations.

Boss Spying

Recently Wired magazine published a brief expose highlighting the potential for misuse of employee monitoring software and how invasive it could be. However, what needs to be made clear, is that in most cases, employee monitoring software is not intended to ‘spy’ on employees. Instead, companies see it as a way to:

  • Avoid data breaches that employees intentionally or unintentionally cause. Many such breaches are caused by unauthorized software that makes it onto company workstations via file downloads or transfers. Employee monitoring software can help prevent that.
  • Comply with privacy and data protection laws that increasingly require companies to take steps to prevent both external and internal misuse of user data. Using employee monitoring software, companies can track activities that could potentially misuse the data and protect it more effectively.

In short, there are numerous legitimate reasons why employee monitoring is beneficial and necessary. Whether or not you need to be concerned that your boss is ‘spying’ on you – it all boils down to how the monitoring is carried out.

Avoiding Misuse and Misunderstandings

The key is to avoid misuse of monitoring software to the point where it intrudes on employees’ privacy. Potential misunderstandings regarding the role that watching software plays should also be avoided. That can be accomplished with a policy that outlines how the company expects its workstations and internet to be utilized, along with any relevant restrictions. The policy should also cover the monitoring employees can expect and the reasons for remote computer monitoring.

As a case in point, if WorkExaminer is being used as an internet monitoring software, employees should be aware of how it is used. The exact ways to track their online activity should be detailed as to why that tracking is necessary. The features in WorkExaminer are comprehensive. They will enable companies to monitor the time spent on websites, record screenshots or keystrokes, block websites, track file transfers, search emails, and more. However, how each company opts to use the available features may differ.

Suppose the features are misused to track employees invasively, and all their online activities; employee monitoring software WorkExaminer may be viewed as spies. However, if employees are informed clearly regarding what actions will be monitored and why – they won’t be considered spies. In short, you should be able to see howwatchingg employee activities with WorkExaminer can be misconstrued and why it is important to avoid any misunderstanding. The last thing that employees want is to feel like they are being aspie’’ on, which should be the last thing that companies want.