‘Quit Watching Me!’;
Attempts to monitor employees have always existed in one form or another, from mechanical keystroke counters in the early part of the century, to the latest innovations in electronic monitoring. As technology advances, so do the monitoring possibilities in the workplace. As result of the endless possibilities in surveillance, anxiety in employee’s increase, which in most cases leads to illnesses. Studies have shown that individuals who are constantly being monitored at work suffer from inevitable effects, the majority being illnesses such as physical, emotional, and mental disorders. Employers feel they have the right to monitor their employees, however when extensive monitoring effects a employees health, then the employers has gone to far. Advance technology has lead to monitoring devices such as via computers, video surveillance, and active badges in the last decade, but as the intensity of the surveillance increases so do the negative effects on the employees.
There has been a huge increase to pass legislation’s that will regulate the employer in monitoring his employees’ by via computer. Monitoring an employee by via computer is one of the latest innovations in electronic monitoring, which is done by purchasing and installing software in the companies computer system. Once the software is installed, it will be able to do a variety of types of electronic monitoring from keystroke counting and accuracy, time how long it takes to make a transaction, and how long the computer has been on idle. This type of electronic monitoring that involves advanced technology and ‘the constant monitoring to measure employees’ performance creates an enormous amount of pressure and stress;#8230;the stress that is created by monitoring has caused serious physical effects’; (Ternipsede 447) on employees in the work place. Many employees have been effected from such setting in the workplace, but they are unaware of the effects since they take many years to develop fully. Another type of electronic monitoring that can damage an employee’s health is video surveillance.
Video surveillance has existed in the work place since the invention of the television. Video surveillance cameras come in all shapes and sizes, from the obvious ones to some that are small as a dime. Many employers purchase such devices to capture employees and customers who commit theft and fraud, or any other illegal activity. The increase of technology in electronic monitoring is now able to transfer images from a camera to a computer where the employer is able to zoom in and make a positive identity of the employee or customer who is committing an illegal act. This type of monitoring is also to make an employee feel under pressure in hoping ‘to enhance employee productivity and quality assurance,’; (Ternipsede 447) which serves as a benefit to the employee, employer, and customer. However, many employees do not notice the effects of video surveillance has on their health since there only concern is getting there work done and making their employer happy. One other type of surveillance that causes health risk to the employee is an active badge.
Active badges are another type of the latest innovations in electronic monitoring and one of the most controversial types of employee monitoring. The active badges are the size of a credit card that is worn on the outside of the clothing. It keeps track where the employee goes by infrared sensors that are located through out the workplace. Many employer’s who promote this type of electronic monitoring argue that it saves time when having to track someone down. They also argue that it is more of a private way of needing to speak to an employee privately, instead of having to announce their name over the intercom. These active badges also have their negative effects on an employee since they feel entrapped in their workplace because they know that someone else always know where they are. It makes an individual feel like they are in prison, except that they are not secured into their workplace by bars and concrete walls. This type of electronic monitoring is one of the most controversial because it is a new way to invade an individual privacy, without the exception of cameras and monitors.
Employers have a right to know whether their employees are on task, however when it infringes on the employees privacy and causes health effects it has gone to far. The employers have the responsibility to hire trustworthy employees and make sure they do their job, not tracking every move they make. As technology advances, business management gets lazier and new monitoring devices pose a threat to employees. The employees well being should be considered before implementing any monitoring systems. Therefore, who knows what electronic monitoring will hold in the future, but will it become so sophisticated that it will cause an employee to choose not to work and live off the government?