The introduction of internet and Email can be considered as one of the best discoveries in the history of mankind. This is because it has made communication to any part of the world faster and easier. Because of its rich resources and information, the internet is a major source of information for anyone in search of knowledge. It is not only a useful tool for the scholars but also for other people like those running different organizations.
This has made work easier by reducing a lot of work that was done manually previously hence increase in productivity. However, with all its benefits, internet and email services have been abused by some employees and the problem has caused a great negative impact on various organizations. This has made different organizations come up with strategies they consider effective to curb this growing negative trend of abuse of email and internet by their employees.
Why monitoring is ethical
Due to the increasing abuse of internet and email usage in places of work, if has been necessary for the organizations to look for ways to stop this. Monitoring the usage of internet and email is a very effective and ethical way of curbing the problem (Wen & Binshan p. g 1). This is because when an organization provides resources to be used for work-related issues, it is wrong for the employees to use these facilities for their own individual gain at the expense of the organization (Dane, 351). Most of the employees use the internet services provided to carry out personal businesses, on line shopping and other private communication. This is very selfish and therefore there is need to monitor any inappropriate usage of internet to reduce the cost incurred by the organization in paying for these services.
It is also important for an organization to maximize on the productivity of the employees. This is because when a lot of time is spent accessing the internet and personal emails, there is less productivity and hence the organization may suffer losses which could have been prevented (Grodzinsky & Gumbus p. g 1). Monitoring therefore in places of work for the sake of productivity and not for trying to control the employees is not unethical. Some employees if not monitored end up spend a lot of time visiting sites that do not add value to the company. Without monitoring, such employees seem very busy and unless there is a mechanism to check what is happening, the problem may be realized when it is already too late.
Monitoring especially when included in the organization’s policy is not unethical because one becomes aware during the signing of the contract that private businesses should not be carried out at work and also the use of the organization’s facilities to carry out private business is not allowed. With this mentality, one becomes mentally prepared to work under that environment. With this awareness also, one does not feel like monitoring is intrusion to privacy at work as none is expected.
Why monitoring is unethical
Although monitoring the usage of internet and email services at the place of work is ethical, there are some cases whereby it becomes unethical. For example, monitoring for the sake of controlling the employees may cause lack of trust and suspicion between the employee and the employer. The employee therefore works under great fear and at times feeling s of resentment towards the employer (Laudon & Laudon, chapter 4). Trust in the work place is an important tool in any human relationships hence when it lacks, there is usually a problem and restoring it becomes very difficult.
It is also not ethical to monitor the employees’ usage of internet and email when there is no suspicion of misuse or abuse of these services. This is because if the employees are working towards greater productivity and there are no downward trends of the organization, then monitoring just for the sake of interfering with the employees’ work becomes unethical. It is good for the employees to know what is expected of them and achievement of the set goal for the employees should be the yardstick for measuring their productivity instead of monitoring them as they do the work. This makes the employees feel valued and motivated to work in a comfortable environment.
At times, employees feel abuse the internet and email services provided at the place of work because of annoyance towards the boss due to work-related factors like being poorly paid. They therefore try to make up for this inadequacy by misusing the available resources (Laudon & Laudon, chapter 4). The employer should therefore seek for other methods to solve such h problems instead of monitoring the employees’ usage of internet and other facilities given to the employees.
Internet and emails services are very important tools of getting and sending information. Misuse of these services can be counter-productive to an individual and also an organization. Therefore, there is need for balance when it comes to their usage to counter any negative effects that may arise from time to time due to carelessness or lack of control in their usage.
Dane, Peterson. Computer ethics: the influence of guidelines and universal moral Beliefs. Information Technology & People, Vol. 15 Iss: 4, pp.346 – 361., 2002. Web.
Grodzinsky, Frances & Gumbus, Andra. Internet and Productivity: Ethical Perspectives on Workplace Behavior. New England: Sacred Heart University, 2004. Web.
Laudon, Kenneth C. & Laudon, Jane P. Essentials of MIS. Ninth Edition/, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishing, 2010.
Wen, Joseph & Binshan, Lin. Internet and employee productivity: Management Decision. London: Emerald Group Publishing Limited Vol 36, Issue 6, 1998. Web.