Electronic monitoring has been defined as "the computerized collection, storage, analysis, and reporting of information about employees productive activities" (Office of Technology Assessment, 1987). Employee monitoring has become much easier with the advent of new and cheap technologies. Electronic Monitoring and surveillance includes practices such as video and audio surveillance, monitoring employees’ usage of computer that includes checking of email, computer files and sometimes even keystroke speed.
There are many reasons for instituting monitoring and surveillance. According to the American Management Association some of the main reasons are: performance evaluation, compliance with federal and local laws, protection against legal liability and cost control of the use of company phone and internet. Security and protection of business information can be cited as other reasons.
There are several types of employee monitoring and surveillance systems. The most commonly used are 1)computer monitoring :With the help of computer monitoring systems an employer can check an employee’s speed and accuracy, monitor the number of errors, the number of jobs done, time spent away from computer. This information can then be used by the employer to maintain records of an employee’s performance and to set performance standards 2) Video surveillance: Employers use these systems to track employee theft, and wastage of time 3) Phone tapping: This is the most common method of monitoring used by employers. Here the number of calls, the frequency, the length and destination of the calls are all recorded. This information is then used to detect if an employee is passing on critical information about the organization to outsiders and to train employees for better customer service. 4) E-mail and Voice Mail tracking: In some workplaces employers monitor an employees e-mail and voice mail. With the help of new technologies, employers can easily track