The pandemic that sent you home as a remote worker has all but ended, yet many people are still enjoying their work-from-home privileges. According to a Gallup survey, just two in 10 people work full-time at the office. The rest are hybrid or remote employees.
At home working from your kitchen table, you’re far away from the prying eyes of your coworkers. But you may not have as much privacy as you think.
Some Bosses Are Watching Remote Workers Closely
In March 2023, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,000 bosses about their hybrid or remote policies. You might be surprised by their findings:
- Almost all (96%) said they use employee monitoring software to oversee their workforce.
- One in three employers requires their employees to be on a live, monitored video feed.
- 97% believe this software increases productivity.
- Of those using these surveillance tactics, 5% haven’t told their employees they are monitored.
Depending on your boss’s software, you may be on camera during your workday. However, some tools allow your employer to watch your screen, review your Internet history, or record what you type on your keyboard.
What Should You Never Do on a Work Computer
Now that you know your boss has this much oversight on your work computer, you might want to think twice about doing the following tasks on the clock:
Have you ever applied for a personal loan online while on the clock? Financial institutions like MoneyKey make it easy to find and apply for these loans online. The typical application is short enough that you can squeeze it in during a break.
While this multi-tasking may help you feel better about your finances, it could cause friction in the workplace. Legitimate online loan lenders like MoneyKey require confidential financial information before they approve a loan.
If your boss monitors your computer, they could see your bank account number, checking account balance, and other details you wouldn’t share with anyone but these financial institutions.
There’s no shame in needing to borrow money in an emergency. Plenty of people rely on installment loans and lines of credit to help them afford unexpected expenses. That said, you may not want your boss to know these intimate details about your financial situation.
Every email you open, message you send to the group chat, and video chat with friends may be monitored. If you wouldn’t say these things in front of your boss or HR department, save these conversations until you’re on a personal device.
You should be wary of indulging in these social engagements online, even if you aren’t worried about your topic of conversation. Employers that use monitoring software may not take too kindly that you’re spending some of your workdays talking to friends or family — even if it’s just a quick message between tasks.
These side tasks may imply you aren’t a productive team member, which could hurt you in the long run. According to that ResumeBuilder.com survey, three in four employers have fired someone because of what they saw via their monitoring software.
Be more mindful of how you use your work computer. While most employers will let you know they use monitoring software, some may try to sneak it past you. Wait to talk to friends or borrow an online loan until you’re off the clock, using a personal device.