The relationship between employee and employer is a unique one. It is unlike any other relationship in ones life. Since the time of Henry Ford’s great paternalistic employer experiments we’ve come to know that the employer is not like your mother and that there shouldn’t be sentimental attachments or expectations that might prevent the business from progressing in its competitive market.
Customers pay the company, which in turn provides the paycheck that allows your family to eat. However, it is also the place that imposes its agenda on you from 9 to 5, five days a week and sometimes longer. They require you to travel from time to time, pay the travel expenses but don’t compensate you for your absence away from home. The company also supplies your with certain articles for your work, like a company car or laptop or office supplies and even an office with a desk perhaps. For some folks, the lines between personal and company property and the lines between personal and company privacy are not so clear and are even blurred.
With this article in the wsj.com, Monitoring the Monitors, the issue of trust in the relationship comes into play.
Issues of cyberslacking and safeguarding valuable information need to be addressed so that the time and money being spent on the employees on working are actually working.
Obviously, cracking whips and having a no tolerance policy for facebook or gmail are probably a little draconian in these trendy times. Also not caring what employees do at work could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted productivity, spyware attacks, hacker vulnerability and internet security.
There are plenty of keystroke recorders, monitor screenshot recorders, URL blockers, and URL restrictors, but a promising technology to the issue of office productivity is software that controls the bandwidth given to certain sites.
The would mean that you could go to youtube, or check your personal email, but that it would take longer to load allowing higher priority business applications to traverse the network unencumbered. Also, when you went to load a business related site, like brockmann.com, it would load as fast as it can. This kind of technology encourages actually focusing on work-related things, and discourages sites that are not so.
Employees would not be on such a short leash as a total ban and they might still feel like human beings by the time the clock hits 5.