Can Employer Spy On Employees Outside Of Work?

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No one likes to be monitored, but sometimes you have no other option but to be under surveillance. For example in public places you are always under CCTV cameras, similarly, at the workplace, you are under surveillance of employee monitoring software.

Sometimes being monitored is not bad, it’s actually for your own or your company’s good. However, it’s not fine when someone starts to spy on you in your house, where you spend your most private moments.

Most employees fear that their employer might be spying on them off duty. But can employers spy on employees outside of work? In this article I will try to answer this question, so stay tuned!

Table Of Contents

Can Employers Spy On Employees Outside Of Work?

Employers have the right to monitor their employees in order to track the productivity and security of the business. However, there are some limitations to it, a employer cannot interfere with the privacy of the employee. Especially, an employer cannot spy on employees outside of work because it is against employee privacy policy.

However, some employees abuse their rights and hence the company is sometimes left with no other choice but to track their employees off duty. So being an employer you may spy on employees outside of work but you must have a valid reason behind it.

How Do Employers Spy On Employees Outside Of Work?

1. Through Company-Owned Devices

employer spy on employee off duty

Most companies provide smartphone, PC, and email addresses to their employees. It is common for the employer to keep an eye on the company-provided device and services.

If you happen to send messages or browse the internet on company-owned devices then there is a high chance that your boss might be keeping a note of all of it. So it’s better that employees only use their own devices for personal purposes.

2. Social Media

social media

The other thing how employers keep an eye on employees off duty is through their social media handles. Whatever one posts on social media sites like Twitter, or Facebook, is in the public domain and your boss has easy access to it. If the employee posts something controversial or something against the company then they might lose their job. There are many such incidences where an employee had to lose a job for their controversial posts.

3. Company Events

company party

In a company event like a picnic or party, the employees enjoy their time out of work with their colleagues but the boss might be noticing all their activities. It is also possible that once the employee gets drunk, taking advantage of the situation the boss can also check their phone to find their hidden secrets.

When Can Employers Spy On Employees?

The employer has the right to put their employees under surveillance during work hours. The law for monitoring employees is different in different parts of the world. However, no law restricts the company to keep an eye on their workers, obviously not without following the rules.

Employers can choose to monitor their employees through CCTV cameras or company-owned devices. It depends from company to company and profession to profession.

When Employers Cannot Monitor Employees?

The first condition that the employer must fulfill in order to track their employees is to take their permission whether they are working from home or the office. The other thing employer must keep in mind is that they cannot spy on employees outside of office hours. Also, bugging the personal device of the employee is considered illegal. Employers can only monitor their employee’s activities on devices provided to them by the company.

How To Spy On Employees Off Duty Without Them Knowing?

It is illegal to spy on your employees without them knowing. However, sometimes you are left with no other choice but to secretly collect evidence against the employee who’s abusing their rights or can prove dangerous to the business.  In that case, you can spy on employees outside of work by the following methods.

Monitoring a company-owned device is not enough because clever and cunning employees won’t use it because they know they can be tracked on it. So apart from the company-provided device, you may have to put spyware on their personal device like a phone or laptop.

You can make use of the pcTattletale spy app as it is available for both Windows and Android phones. Once installed it starts recording all the activities on the employee’s phone and PC in no time. You can see all their activities in video format, moreover, it allows you to see their screen in real-time as it provides you a Live viewing feature. Besides that, it even tracks their location on the Android phone.

If you can’t access their physical device to keep an eye on them then you can make use of tiny spy cameras or hire a private investigator to do the job for you.

Is It Legal To Spy On Employees Outside Of Work? Final Verdict

Spying on employees is a right of the employers but there are some restrictions as well. They cannot leak the data that they have collected from the employee’s computer nor can they track employees without their consent.

Also, spying on employees outside of work is not legal until the employee knows about it and has their consent. However, if the employer feels the need to spy on employees outside of the work without them knowing then they must have a very solid reason to do it. If the boss has no genuine reason to monitor employees off duty without their consent then it’s totally illegal.

FAQs

Are Employers Allowed To Monitor Employees?

Yes, employers can track their employees in the workplace but not outside of work.

Do Employees Have A Right Not To Be Spied On?

Employees cannot stop employers from monitoring them at the workplace. However they do have a right to keep their private information confidential.

Can An Employer Record Conversations Without Consent?

No, the employer cannot record a conversation without employee’s consent. If they do then they must have a valid reason for it or else the employee can take action against them.

Can An Employer Track My Movements, Speed Using GPS Devices?

Yes, if you are using a company car to move around then your employer might use a GPS device to track your whereabouts. Also if you are using a company-owned cell phone then it might also have tracking software that gives your location history details to your boss.

About the Author

Franklin manages a remote team using monitoring apps to keep track of their working hours and performance. He has been using tracking apps for monitoring employees for over 6 years now. He started SpyDrill to share his experience with monitoring apps and hence help others who want to track someone. Franklin holds a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business administration.

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