The majority of the organizations are not in the favour of allowing the use of WhatsApp in the workplace. Because WhatsApp allows users to exchange casual and informal messages with one another, many firms do not allow their employees to engage in any sort of activity that distracts them from the original task.
However, many employers were forced to change their mindset after the onset of COVID-19. As soon as the COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, most of the companies asked their employees to work remotely in response to their government’s guidance to avoid any sort of non-essential travel and social contact.
Because of the “work-from-home” trend, companies had no choice but to relax their WhatsApp usage policy for their employees only to provide them with a more instant mode of communication while they worked remotely. Allowing the use of WhatsApp meant deploying monitoring tools to track their WhatsApp conversations. How to hack WhatsApp of employees? This question has invaded every employer’s mind since then.
The Use of Monitoring Solutions
Now, not all companies have put restrictions on the use of WhatsApp for their employees. Several companies permit the use of WhatsApp during working hours. While they have allowed the use of such instant messaging apps, at the same time, they have also put measures in place to monitor their conversations.
Those measures include monitoring solutions. These monitoring solutionsoften referred to as employee monitoring solutions or tools are set in the workplace to keep track of employees’ activities while they are at work.
Employee monitoring is not a novel concept. Employee monitoring tools have been around for quite some time now. Companies, whether big or small, have been using some sort of employee monitoring tools in one form or another. Some companies use video surveillance i.e., CCTV cameras in the workplace to keep a watch on their employees.
On the other hand, some companies deploy keyloggers on the employees’ computers to record every keystroke they press on their devices. Keycards and biometric machines are also used by companies to track their employees.
Other forms of employee monitoring include monitoring web browsing history, instant chats, text messages, emails, phone calls, as well as location tracking. Some employers install GPS trackers or location tracking apps on their employees’ vehicles (company-owned) to track their movements and see if they have reached the right place.
There are some things that every employer needs to consider before he sets out to monitor his employees. Certainly, he can monitor his employee’s web browsing history and track his WhatsApp conversations but for that, he needs to ensure he is performing these activities in a legal manner.
WhatsApp Monitoring of Employees: Legal or Not?
There is an on-going debate whether it is legal to monitor an employee’s WhatsApp account. When it comes to employee monitoring, each country follows its own rules and regulations. The work and employee monitoring ethics vary for each country.
However, some regulations about employee monitoring remainconstant and are adopted by almost every country. No company is allowed to monitor the WhatsApp account of their employee if they are using a personal device. Some companies ask employees to bring their own devices. In such situations, the employer cannot monitor the employee’s device as it belongs to the latter.
Similarly, no company can monitor their employees’ activities outside the working hours. As soon as the employee exits the office, the company is no longer allowed to keep track of their activities.
Another important thing an employer needs to take into consideration is that they need to inform their employees about monitoring tools before beginning to track their activities during working hours. Usually, when an employee is hired by a company, they are provided an employment contract that also includes the monitoring clause.
In that clause, it is clearly mentioned that employers will be monitoring the company-owned devices handed to the employees. If an employee is using a company-owned device, they have to oblige to such rules. When employees know that they’re being monitored, they pay more attention to their tasks and refrain from spending time on leisure activities.
An employer can only successfully monitor their employees’ devices if they are using company-owned devices. Before handing over the company-owned device to the employee, the employer deploys a monitoring solution (either monitoring software or monitoring app, depending on the type of device the employer is giving to the employee).
Monitor Your Employees Remotely
Once the monitoring solution is successfully installed on the employee’s device, the employer can track the activities taking place on their device remotely from anywhere and at any time. With employee monitoring tools, the employer doesn’t need to hover around employees all the time. The employee can even be at home or anywhere else and still keep a watch on their employees and see what they are doing during office hours.
Several monitoring apps and programs are available in the market that help companies carry out employee monitoring in the workplace. A proper survey and research about monitoring tools should be carried out by experts before choosing the one for your company. Avoid getting fooled by fake and bogus monitoring apps because there are plenty of them out there.
Some monitoring tools act as phone spy apps that let you peek into your employees’ smartphone activities without them knowing. However, we wouldn’t recommend you go down that road. Employees should be informed that their activities will be monitored in the workplace. That will provide them an opportunity to focus on their work and perform better.
Last but not least, WhatsApp monitoring can help you prevent the company from major data leaks. You can monitor your employee’s WhatsApp and find out who they are talking to and what sort of chats they are having with others. If or when you catch an employee interacting with a third-party and sharing the company’s private information, you can instantly call them in and fire them. Protect your company from dishonest and deceiving employees by using the right employee monitoring tools before it is too late.