Does Your Employer Spy on You While You Work from Home?

How My Boss Monitors Me While I Work From Home - The New York Times

When Covid-19 happened, most of the companies were forced to ask their employees to work from home. This worldwide situation caused many employers to desperately look for employment software to keep track of their employees. Employee monitoring tools and cell phone spy apps are being deployed on employees’ devices to keep a check on their activities while they work from home.

There are several employee monitoring apps in the market that provide multiple features including screen monitoring, sent and received emails, text messages, phone calls, web browsing history, etc.

If you are working from home during the lockdown situation, then you must know whether or not your employer is spying on your device activities. If your employer is spying on your screen or monitoring your keystrokes, it is very likely that they must be monitoring your smartphone as well.

Employers keeping a check on their employees’ activities while they work from home is completely normal in this lockdown situation. Employee monitoring is important because employers would be concerned whether their employees are focusing on office duties or binge-watching some Netflix show. But do you think some employers are taking this step too far?

Is Employee Monitoring Illegal?

Is employee monitoring illegal? This has remained a debatable topic for quite some time now. Many employers follow their country’s laws, rules, and regulations when it comes to employee monitoring. It is highly unlikely that an employer would do something that goes against the country’s laws for employee monitoring.

At the time of hiring, many employers hand over a contract to their employees in which it is clearly stated that they will be monitoring their activity during working hours. Employee monitoring is illegal when employers do not seek their employees’ permission before monitoring them or do not inform them about monitoring them beforehand.

Employees do not have a problem with being monitored unless they are already aware of the monitoring tools installed on their devices. It is highly important to differentiate between “monitoring” and “spying” to your employees. Your employees should not confuse monitoring with spying or hacking software.

Employees need to be informed that their work activities are only being monitored for the sake of protecting the business data from third-parties and outsiders and to improve productivity in the business.

When employers justify employee monitoring for these reasons, then the process becomes completely legal for them to deploy employee monitoring software on company-owned devices. Many employees are handed over company-owned devices even whilst they are working from home because only then employers can remotely keep a watch on their employees’ activities.

Apart from legal reasons, employers have many other legitimate reasons to monitor their employees such as for regulatory purposes or preventing insecure and unhealthy working practices.

What Does Employee Monitoring Software Track?

Imagine yourself working from home during the lockdown situation. If your employer has given you a company-owned device to work from home, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that your computer and smartphone are being monitored and tracked.

If you are using WhatsApp for business communication, it is likely that your employer has installed a WhatsApp spy hack tool on your smartphone to keep track of your work-related group chats or messages that are being exchanged with other co-workers, managers, and supervisors. Here, WhatsApp spy hack doesn’t mean employers are trying to hack or gain your data for other reasons; they only want to track your WhatsApp messages for legal and legitimate reasons.

With employee monitoring apps, employers can capture the screenshots of the device the employee is using at regular intervals. As soon as the screenshots are taken, they are transported to the online dashboard where employers can remotely monitor the data from anywhere and at any time. The recorded data is also stored in the cloud servers so the employers can review it later.

Besides grabbing the screenshots of the employees’ devices, there are several monitoring apps that help employers record keystrokes from their devices. Monitoring apps record all the keys that employees type on their keyboards apart from passwords. These apps can also monitor web browsing history, social media accounts, and GPS location.

Is Your Employer Spying on You?

Let’s come back to this question: is your employer spying on you? Well, if you are curious about this question, then the first thing you need to do is ask your employer. You can remove your doubts by asking your employer directly whether or not they are monitoring your devices.

If you are using a company-owned device, then it is highly likely it is being tracked and monitored by your employers. However, if you are still dubious about this matter, you can ask them right away.

Most companies are now using WhatsApp for integral business communication. Therefore, you need to know whether or not your employer has installed a WhatsApp spy download app on your smartphone. You can either ask them in writing over email or simply have a face-to-face conversation with them.

Employee monitoring has become widespread in recent times. The need for employee monitoring tools increased when employers became concerned about knowing whether or not their employees were actually working whilst at home.

With effective and reliable employee monitoring apps available in the market, employers can find out what their employees have been doing even when they are working remotely from home. Employers can monitor their emails, text messages, phone calls, web browsing activity, social media activity, and even location.

Therefore, if you do not want to land yourself in any trouble or do not want to risk your job, then you shouldn’t be doing anything other than focusing on your work-related tasks during office hours whilst working at home.

There is a high chance that your employer is remotely keeping an eye on your activities so make sure you do not do anything that goes against your job. The majority of the companies already inform their employees at the time of hiring that their activities on the company-owned devices will be monitored during working hours.

You shouldn’t mind employee monitoring as long as your employer is not invading your privacy by monitoring your personal devices or tracking your activities after working hours.