You might not always know it, but chances are you are being watched right now. Whether you are out on the street, in a shop or heading on holiday, someone or something will be watching. But is it different when you're at work?
According to a new survey from the TUC, 56% of UK employees believe they are being monitored at work and they don't love the idea.
Technology has played an important role in driving efficiency and productivity in recent years, but sometimes this can overlap with unwanted monitoring and surveillance. Despite there being an apparent acceptance of phone operators and social media companies knowing where you are and when, when it comes to your boss knowing, people are unsettled.
Surveillance and monitoring can infringe on an employees' human rights in the workplace, but it will usually depend on how data is collected and the purpose for which it is used. Employers must take care not to overstep and be transparent with employees about how and why they are monitoring their activities. There will often be a legitimate reason, but informing staff of that reason and getting buy-in will go some way in maintaining trust which is essential to any relationship, at work or elsewhere.
If you already have monitoring in place or are considering introducing it, it's a good idea to take advice first before investing in expensive technology.
According to the research, the forms of surveillance that are least acceptable to workers are: Facial recognition software and mood monitoring (76% against) Monitoring social media accounts outside work (69% against) Recording a worker's location on portable devices (67% against) Monitoring of keyboard strokes (57% against) However, it found 70% of staff think workplace monitoring will become more common, while only 38% said they felt able to challenge forms of surveillance they felt uncomfortable with.