Poll: 54% Haven't Increased Office Big Brother Efforts

November 2, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey of human resources executives found that more than half have not stepped up their general monitoring of employees in the last year and have no plans to do so.

In the poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 54% said they are not looking over their employees’ shoulders in the last 12 months anymore than they used to, according to a SHRM news release. One in 10 said that while they haven’t been keeping a more watchful eye out around the office during that time, but have plans in place to increase worker monitoring.

Meanwhile, some 36% of the HR executives reported that their workplace monitoring has increased in the last year with 27% saying they had outlined their efforts to their employees and 9% saying they had not briefed the workers, according to SHRM.

But many respondents have been beefing up employee monitoring in a variety of ways. Asked “In which of the following activities did your organization increase its employee monitoring?” respondents answered:

  • 58% increased monitoring employee use of the Internet.
  • 48% increased monitoring employee computer use in general.
  • 45% increased monitoring employee e-mail use.
  • 41% increased auditing employee expense forms.
  • 30% increased monitoring employee use of cell phones.
  • 21% increased monitoring employee telephone use.
  • 13% increased monitoring employee instant messaging.
  • 13% increased use of cameras to monitor employee activities.
  • 12% increased monitoring of employees’ movement at work.
  • 7% increased monitoring the use of camera cell phones.
  • 5% read employees e-mails.
  • 1% read employee postal mail.

The survey was conducted September 29, 2006. There were 442 HR professionals from SHRM’s membership surveyed for the report.