Vigilantly maintain a division between work and personal technologies.
IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I get an email from a potential client’s work address with the subject line “Résumé Help.” You know where I’m headed.
Employers have any number of monitoring and surveillance technologies: WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU THINKING?
If you’re one of the guilty parties, be aware that your email could fast track your exit interview. Consider HR’s POV: You’ve decided to end your employment relationship. And many employers will gladly show you the way out as a result.
And workplace monitoring is far more widespread than you think.
I once worked for an organization of about 30 employees that utilized keystroke recognition software. Of course, we didn’t know about it until we overheard our CEO bragging about it to two board members. We were aghast, and made sure that everything we did at work, even on our lunch breaks, was professional and never, ever included personal information.
How do companies monitor employees?
- Internet usage
- Online discussions/comments/blogs
- Social media
In fact, of the companies that monitor email, 73 percent use technology to automatically monitor it, and 40 percent assign individuals to manually read and review, according to the American Management Association.
Pretty scary, huh? There are some legal ramifications pertaining to your personal expectations of privacy, but if you want to be safe, here are some tips to keep yourself on the up-and-up.
1. Company resources are company property. If you’re using company-issued laptops or smartphones to access Web-based email accounts, you’re technically abusing company property by not using it for the purpose for which it was originally intended...to work. Many businesses have social media policies that allow for checking personal information while at work, but always remember that these policies don’t usually spell out whether the company is spying on those communications or not.
2. Your work email is not your email. It belongs to your company. If you’ve been on the job for a while, you’ve probably made a habit of using your company email address to receive and send personal correspondence. Heck, it’s just easier. But, that’s a big no-no. Keep and use a personal email address for non-work conversations.
3. You never know where your communication will end up. Emails can be leaked and reveal embarrassing (or even harmful) information about you or your company. That forward button has incredibly destructive power. Anything you send out from the office can take with it far-reaching ramifications.
4. Think before you click. Would you be embarrassed or would your career be harmed if your boss found out? If you frequent sites that contain NSFW (not safe for work) content, don’t do it on company property. It’s NSFW for a reason. Keep it clean…always.
Vigilantly maintain a division between work and personal technologies, no matter what your company’s social media policy might be. You never know who might be watching…and why. One+
One+ May 2012,