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Internet Working Conditions Feedback Privacy

My manager just told me that I have been spending too much time on golf sites on the Internet. I admit that I occasionally check out a couple of these sites, but I am more concerned that the company found out about this. Don't employees have some privacy?

You will find a lot more privacy on a golf course, which is where your employer would prefer you pursue your golfing links.

In many companies, employee privacy is rapidly evolving into an oxymoron. Increasing numbers of employers are not only monitoring employee Internet activity, but they are also checking out employee phone calls, e-mail, and general work habits. When employees come rolling into work, it is increasingly common to find that videotape starts rolling too.

The rights of employees and employers in these areas are still evolving. If you are keeping score, the employers are definitely ahead.

From the employer standpoint, this monitoring is designed to focus on key work-related matters, such as maintaining quality work, preventing substance abuse, and identifying questionable performance. From the employee standpoint, this type of monitoring is typically viewed as being somewhere between an intrusion and an invasion.

The next time you consider visiting your favorite golf sites on company time and equipment, remember that there may be a gallery watching you. Your web site visits may help you shoot under par, but to the company they may be an indicator of a different kind of sub-par performance.

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