Articles, advices and tips for professionals in the United States of America


Workplace Privacy

Each person might think of a different thing when they think about workplace privacy. As computers became more popular, email became a major form of communication within the workplace. Most companies now have an email system, and each employee has their own work address. The problem is that so many use this address for personal things as well, and employers are trying to read these personal communications. Those concerned with workplace privacy question whether is right or not.

I often get emails from friends through their work addresses, and I wonder if their employers are aware of what they are doing. Most of them are very responsible, but there are some that seem to have a lot of time to send emails from work. I wonder if they know that their employer may have the right to read through whatever is going in and out of their inbox. There are some companies who do this, and this is when people start to question what workplace privacy really means.

These questions about workplace privacy are occasionally on the news. There was a story I heard about a rather heated argument between coworkers that ended up getting them both fired. They were arguing over a non-work related issue, and they were using the company email system to do it. The boss found the emails, read though the large amount that had been sent back and forth, and because he felt they were wasting time on the job, he let them both go. I remember hearing that both of the employees got lawyers, but I don’t know what happened after that.

If you have questions about workplace privacy at your job, all you have to do is ask. If you have a human resource department, that might be the first place you want to go. You may also want to have a look through your employee handbook for some of your more specific questions. If you don’t really find what you are looking for in regards to workplace privacy, don’t be afraid to ask your boss about the rules that may not have been included in the handbook. New technologies mean that things are moving very fast, and sometimes rules must be made on the fly. That means many companies will send out a memo on a new rule or problem, but they simply cannot update the handbook each and every time something new comes up. You might have missed something, so if you aren’t sure, make sure you ask.


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