Employee monitoring is an issue which is likely to increase, not decrease, in importance as additional tools become available to employers. It will be up to each employer to determine whether monitoring makes sense in their environment, and if so, to what level and for what purpose. If companies do decide to monitor their employees, they need to work in conjunction with legal advisors in order to devise a system and a policy which protects them against potential liability in the future, and which maintains an ethical relationship with their employees.
The greater argument against employee monitoring is that it can have a deleterious effect on employee morale. This is particularly true since most employees consider that their performance should be the overriding standard against which they are judged, and if they write personal e-mail or make personal phone calls, but they still get their job done--or stay late on those occasions when they have spent time on personal business, the personal business they conduct on so-called company time should simply be a non-issue. These employees--and their advocates--suggest that employers are better off seeking to monitor performance rather than keystrokes, and results rather than phone calls (Ramsey 4).
Cook, Julie. "Big Brother Goes to Work." OfficeSystems99 (Aug 1999): 43-45.
Ramsey, Robert D. "The 'snoopervision' debate." Supervision (Aug 1999): 3-5.
Gips, Michael A. "Judging the Impact on Workplace Monitoring." Security Management 46(Jan 2002): 12-13.