Electronic Monitoring Vs. Health Concerns 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
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 win-win-win situation.
CQ Researcher. “Privacy in the Workplace.” Writing and Reading Across the
Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. 6th ed. New York:
HarperCollins, 1997. 441-445.
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.