Things to consider before monitoring employee smart phones

With the use of smart phones in the society we live in today, employers tend to face a number of legal as well as operational challenges. While such phones certainly allow work to be conducted outside of the office and outside of the traditional work hours, it could also pose as a risk to the secrets of the company, its security as well as its work environment, all of which could cause an employer to make use of a monitoring program within the workplace.

While this may seem to be a legit concern on the part of the employer, the right to privacy by any employee is also of importance. The risk of an employer invading the privacy of his employees has increased with the use of smart phones at work which contain personal information such as text messages, photos, social media accounts, personal emails and even health information. Hence, an employer who chooses to monitor the smart phones used by his employees must do so understanding that the risk of privacy invasion is real and that it could perhaps even result in a lawsuit. Prior to deciding whether an employee’s phone should be monitored, it would be wise for an employer to answer the following questions first.

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Does the employer have any right to monitor his employees? The answer to this question, particularly with respect to devices which have been issued by the company is that yes, an employer can monitor the devices and an employee should not expect any kind of privacy. However if the smart phone is owned by the employee himself, they are likely to have a high expectation with regard to their privacy and the answer is no longer as clear. Employees who make use of their own phones at work ought to realize that while the ability of their employer to monitor their device is restricted, it isn’t entirely lost.

If the employee monitoring does have rights, should he do it? Circumstances pertaining to such a question tend to vary and to answer this question, the following factors should be taken into consideration.

Is monitoring needed to protect the company or can the goal aimed for be achieved using means which are not as intrusive? Can the monitoring of the smart phone be targeted so that personal data of the employee is left untouched? Have the employees of the firm been provided with the privacy policy of the company? Can the policy be put into effect without the violation of the National Labor Relations Act? Is it a better option to outsource monitoring to a neutral third party vendor? Will monitoring cause the morale of employees to suffer? To what extent will employee monitoring end up being disruptive?

Given that a number of risks are associated with monitoring and inspecting the smart phones of employees, it would be a good idea to carefully assess whether or not such a monitoring policy is truly needed, all the state and federal laws involved, whether there is a risk of litigation and what would be the impact on the morale of employees and the firm’s operations.

Author Bio:
Nicki is Tech Experts and Relationship Advisor. She writes about latest Tech News and Reviews. Her latest articles regard employees legality can be found by visit this website.

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