Beyond Bravo

Is Your Boss Spying On You? Here Are Some Clues

You may be on the chopping block and you don't even know it. 

Forty-three percent of companies actively monitor employee emails and track the time you spend on the company phone, according to the American Management Association. Some employers record all your calls (16%) and half of all big companies use video to prevent workplace theft.

That’s all commonplace, even though you may never know. All of the above is legal, too. But there are some clues that point to whether you are being watched while at work, just so you’re in the know. 

1If you are planning to quit, but your boss already knew when you told him or her.

If you’ve recently jazzed up your LinkedIn profile, your boss may be on to your job search. With a little investigating, it isn’t hard to find out if you’ve actually accepted a position elsewhere.

2There’s a rat in the office.

Your boss cares about the workplace gossip, and may have a little helper feeding them information, so be careful what you say. 

3The boss is acting weird around you.

Perhaps it’s guilt, because they know too much about you. 

4Your boss is too into your personal life.

They may know that you went to a Beyoncé concert over the weekend, but you never mentioned it at work. Your boss is probably checking out your social media pages and tracking your every move. 

The AMA says more than one fourth of employers have fired workers for misusing e-mail (violating company policy or using offensive language) and nearly one third have fired employees for misusing the Internet (viewing inappropriate content.) Of the 43% of companies that monitor e-mail, 73% use technology tools to automatically monitor e-mail and 40% assign an individual to manually read and review e-mail. 

Only two states, Delaware and Connecticut, require employers to notify employees of monitoring.  

“Most employees receive policies regarding use of office business tools and privacy issues on the first day of employment, but too often they don’t read them. Employers need to do more than hand over a written policy,” says Manny Avramidis, senior vice president of global human resources for AMA. “They should educate employees on company expectations and offer training on an annual basis.”

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