It's important to trust your employees to do their job.
If monitoring is too much or does not respect the employee's privacy, it can damage trust, cause stress and reduce productivity. In some circumstances, it could also breach their legal and human rights.
You should also remember that employees are entitled to some privacy at work, including when they are working from home.
Consult and create a policy
You should consult with employees and any representatives before introducing any form of monitoring. Together you should agree and create a clear policy.
You must tell employees about any monitoring arrangement and the reason for it, except in extremely limited circumstances – for example, if you suspect criminal activity.
Ways of monitoring
These might include:
- looking at use of email
- checking website visits
- recording or listening to phone calls
Any monitoring arrangements must follow human rights and data protection laws.
You should do an 'impact assessment' to decide if and how to monitor staff.
- clearly set out the reasons for monitoring and the likely benefits
- identify any negative effects the monitoring might have
- consider other options to monitoring or different ways to carry it out
- understand the law around monitoring – for example, how information will be collected and used
- decide whether there is a valid reason for carrying out monitoring