14 January 2016

Yesterday it was ruled that it is not “unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during working hours” effectively approving employer monitoring of employee’s private messages during work time

Whilst it is still unclear on the blanket effect of the ruling – which used personal messages sent on a business device as evidence – it is clear that this is heading down a treacherous path.

How can there be trust between an employer and employee if the employer is sniffing through their personal information? It’s unhealthy. It’s ridiculous.

In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason to do this and even more ridiculous that people can’t check their messages and send communications while in work. Invariably, they will find a way to do so, so why try to police it? I have learned that if you create too many rules, you spend your entire life enforcing them.

You are far better having a relaxed approach.

As a businessman, I have definitely softened and learned to give more autonomy and freedom to everyone who works with me. Ultimately, that comes from trust. Having trust in your team is essential in business, how can you rely on people to do their jobs, and how can you successfully run a business, if you are constantly taking time from your day to constantly check up on them?

I am interested to see the knock-on effects of this ruling and how that will affect team engagement in businesses who see this as a chance to snoop.

What do you think?

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