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Big Boss Is Watching: The Benefits And Drawbacks of Employee Surveillance




Employees work at computers in the office of 'Content and Code' on the Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch, London, England.
Employees work at computers in the office of 'Content and Code' on the Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch, London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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As surveillance technology becomes more readily available, it’s getting more and more common -- including in the workplace. 

Employers have a wide range of options if they want to surveil their employees. The websites you visit, your keystrokes, in some extreme cases even your facial expressions, can be monitored by your boss.

Legally speaking, employees should have little expectation of privacy. But in terms of productivity, there’s debate as to whether surveillance is the answer. 

Does it keep an employee on task? What adverse effects might it have, for example in terms of trust within a workspace and stress levels? If you’re an employer who has used this technology, what have you observed? And if you’re an employee who’s been observed, how did you feel about it? 

Call us at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Ellen Ruppel Shell, professor of journalism at Boston University; her latest book is “The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change” (October, 2018 by Crown); she is also a long time contributing editor for The Atlantic, where she’s written about employer surveillance

Kate Bischoff, owner of tHRive Law & Consulting, an employment law and HR consulting firm, based in Minneapolis; she tweets @k8bischHRLaw