Should You Monitor Your Employees? Pros and Cons

Are you confused whether it is a good idea to monitor your employees while they are in office? Read this article as we discuss the pros and cons of keeping a tab on the activities of your employees. Know what is acceptable, what to avoid and what exact tools are available to do this.

Employee monitoring can be a controversial topic. Some business owners deem it necessary to establish a healthy level of control over their operations. Others feel it infringes on people's rights and privacy.

In the end, you'll have to make a choice yourself, as there are no right or wrong answers. It all depends on your company policies and how you wish to enforce them. To help you decide, take a look at the pros and cons of each:

Employee Monitoring: The Pros

1. It limits the risk of creating a hostile work environment

Without monitoring, there is the risk of your employees not performing work-related activities. They may also view controversial, hostile, or demeaning content online. Not only is this an issue of productivity, but it also has the potential to come across as the company being tolerant of this. Without taking action, you assume responsibility for the actions of your employees.

2. It helps you trust your employees more

Trust and respect are earned, not given. By implementing employee monitoring, there is no need to be taking their word about doing what they're supposed to. To maintain a high level of productivity and build trust, some forms of employee monitoring can go a long way.

3. It keeps fraud in check

Most companies pay their employees by the hour and not per-project. So there is an incentive for them to pass entertainment time as working time. In other words, they could very well be watching YouTube instead of working, and you'd be paying them for it. Employee monitoring can help you identify problematic employees.

4. It can protect against litigation

A lawsuit is never something one should take lightly, as it can bring your business to its knees. Someone can use whatever your employees write in an email as evidence in court. Hence, you should have a firm grip on what's going on. It's your task to ensure that the quality is where it needs to be to limit the impact of misuse, security breaches, etc.

5. It ensures quality and high performance

The feeling that someone is looking over one's shoulder may not be pleasant. But it does ensure one's maximum performance and quality of work. If this happens in real-time, you can catch any mistake on the employee's part immediately and rectify it on the spot.

Employee Monitoring: The Cons

1. Privacy issues

Privacy is not only a matter of ethics, but it's also a legal issue. According to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, intercepting live or stored communications is prohibited. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, such as emails and phone calls. Other forms of employee monitoring may need consent on their part.

2. It takes money to put in place

Given that most businesses aim to reduce their costs, employee monitoring could set you further away from that goal. After all, you're going to need to invest in the technology necessary if you want to make it happen. Even if it's already at your fingertips, someone will need to look at the data collected. Unless you plan to invest your own time into it, you're going to have to hire someone to do the job.

3. It can impact employee motivation

People don't fancy the feeling of being watched. Thus, it can hurt their job satisfaction. If your primary concern is to ensure no one is browsing sites that they shouldn't at work, get a firewall to block such websites. If you're worried about data falling into the wrong hands, set access control or get NordVPN Teams. With the help of a business VPN, your employees can access data of the company in a manner that is safe and secure irrespective of their current location. Some VPNs also allow browsing monitoring that's less invasive than usual methods.

4. Someone needs to do the monitoring

Unless you're watching their every move yourself, how can you be sure the one you've entrusted with the task is worthy of your trust? Remember that giving an employee a position of power over others can lead to misuse. That's not saying that paranoia should be your guide, but you do need to consider the possibility.

5. It can take a toll on employee trust

If your company promotes a healthy working environment and a high standard of working relationships, employee monitoring goes against such principles. It may give the impression you don't trust your employees. Your working relationship may sustain irreparable damage.


Employee monitoring can increase productivity and cut behavior that could lead to legal issues. But it also can damage your office relationships. Although this is your decision, in the end, you should consider the alternatives first. They may be enough to address the company-specific issues on their own.


No responses found. Be the first to comment...

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: