Last week, I was talking to a colleague about companies that monitor employees’ online and computer usage. He retold a tale about a female coworker who had announced she was leaving the organization. One day, he looked over at her workspace and saw that the cursor was moving around the desktop on its own. Folders were opening. Files, opening. Files, closing. Someone on the IT team was managing her desktop and computer files remotely. An eerie, intrusive experience. (He turned off her monitor and tried to think nothing more of it.)
Shortly after that conversation, I was talking to a friend who’d left one of his previous employers because of a falling out with the GM. Even though he was on fine footing with the company’s founder, the GM had it out for him. When he got the sense that she was snooping around on his computer after hours, he began to leave Easter eggs for her: Word documents that contained text like “I know you’re reading this,” fake file folders with provocative names, and so forth.
That’s one way to deal with smaller-scale, grassroots surveillance, but how can employees work assured that more organized efforts won’t cramp their work style? An article taken from CIO magazine has some hints. It’s not just that you monitor employees (which I find somewhat questionable in most cases, granted), it’s how you do so. Something to ponder.