Up to now we have faced million times the topic how employees abuse with time tracking and how they “steal” working hours. Here we will see a different aspect of time tracking – what is the limit of employees’ monitoring. Of course, employee’s monitoring is helpful for keeping track on the employees’ activities and minimizing the chance of time theft. However, this monitoring should be limited to specific extend. Some conditions in the employees’ contracts make them wonder whether specific clause is acceptable or even legal.
One of the most common abuses with time tracking is the obligation the employee to track bathroom breaks. There is an option that employees use and is called “Bathroom” which is definitely an unacceptable and invasive way to monitor the employees. There is a softer version of this option, called “Personal” which is used when the employee needs some time for taking a cup of coffee, or a little break, making a private call or going to the bathroom. If the employer asks you to track your bathroom breaks, think carefully before accepting this condition.
When you are using your personal computer for work and for personal activities, be careful because your employer will see what websites you visit, how much time you spend in these websites and what are your searches in the search engines. If you have been looking in some “hot” or “dating” websites, this information will also be available to your employer.
There is widely spread opinion, supported by millions employees that time tracking software invades employees privacy. However, the reasons why the employees need to be tracked are obvious and don’t need explanation. The most important factor that makes time tracking legal is that the employee should be informed he/she is been monitored. The type of monitoring should be specified. The employees need to know what areas this monitoring will cover.
Although time tracking is a legal practice, many times it literally crosses the border of privacy. Let’s give you a simple example: employees know that their emails are monitored, but most of them are unaware that the boss can actually see the first few words of the message the employee writes in the email. The employer should explain that specific to the employees because they need to have the full information before agreeing to being monitored.
When it comes to time tracking with screenshots, then the employer will be able to see everything you have written on the email or the content of the website you are looking at. Luckily, time tracking software has an option to turn off this application. In fact, not all time tracking software use the option of screenshots tracking. Moreover, one of the drawbacks of this software is that gives inadequate picture of the monitored employee. The employer can make a wrong conclusion with seeing just several screenshots that don’t characterize the personality of the employee in full.