Untitled Essay, Research Paper
Electronic Monitoring vs. Health Concerns
Is privacy and electronic monitoring in the work place an issue that
is becoming a problem? More and more employees are being monitored today then ever before
and the companies that do it aren’t letting off. While electronic monitoring in the work
place may be the cause of increased stress levels and tension, the benefits far exceed the
harm that it may cause.
Employees don’t realize how often electronic monitoring happens in
their work place. An estimated twenty million Americans are subjected to monitoring in
their work place, commonly in the form of phone monitoring, E-mail searches, and searching
through the files on their hard drive (Paranoid 435). A poll by MacWorld states that over
twenty-one percent of all employees are monitored at work, and the larger the company, the
higher the percentage (Privacy 445). Unaware of this electronic monitoring, most employees
often are not working at their peak performance due to this type of scrutiny.
The majority of Americans believe that electronic monitoring should not
be allowed. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis states that of all of the freedoms
that Americans enjoy, privacy "is the right most valued by civilized men (Privacy
441)." A poll taken by Yankelovich Clancy Shulman for Time, states that ninety-five
percent of Americans believe that electronic monitoring should not be allowed (Privacy
444). Harriet Ternipsede, who is a travel agent, gave a lengthy testimonial on how
electronic monitoring at her job caused her undue stress and several health problems
including muscle aches, mental confusion, weakened eyesight, severe sleep disturbance,
nausea, and exhaustion. Ternipsede was later diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Immune
Dysfunction Syndrome (Electronic 446). A study done by the University of Wisconsin found
that eighty-seven percent of employees subjected to electronic monitoring suffered from
higher stress levels and increased tension while only sixty-seven percent of those
employees that were not subjected to monitoring had those same symptoms (Paranoid 436).
While it is obvious that most employees are against electronic
monitoring, the use of electronic monitoring contributes to increased stress levels in
employees. While the advantages derived from electronic monitoring far outweigh the
disadvantages. Through the use of employee monitoring, companies can save money in overall
operations cost by weeding out those employees who don’t pull their weight, and cut down
on employee theft. By monitoring employees, it is possible to measure their performance
and see if they are meeting standards. By getting rid of those employees who don’t meet
standards the burden of daily tasks is lifted on every other employee in that department.
Eighty to ninety percent of business theft is internal (Paranoid 432). Through the use of
employee monitoring, the amount of money lost to theft can be dramatically reduced.
While electronic monitoring in the work place may contribute to
employee stress, the benefits are far greater then the disadvantages. Not only do
companies save money from employee theft, sabotage, and vandalism, employees can feel more
confident that their coworkers who don’t pull their own weight will be terminated. When
the company and the employees both benefit from increased profits I would call this a
win-win situation. If the savings are passed to the customer, you could even have a
CQ Researcher. "Privacy in the Workplace." Writing and Reading Across the
Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. 6th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
Ternipsede, Harriet. "Is Electronic Monitoring of Workers Really Necessary?"
Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. 6th ed.
New York: HarperCollins, 1997. 446-448.
Whalen, John. "You’re Not Paranoid: They Really Are Watching You." Writing and
Reading Across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. 6th ed. New York:
HarperCollins, 1997. 430-440.