Employees resistant to any form of computer video monitoring, study says

Technology has made it possible for employers and co-workers to see staff live over computer connections
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/09/2004

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ew technology lets employers and co-workers see staff live over computer connections. But no matter how benign the goal of keeping teams connected, the latest in electronic monitoring is viewed as a new level of intrusion, with the risk of creating a vicious circle of distrust and discontent, says a University of Toronto academic and management expert.

Assistant professor David Zweig surveyed 600 workers on attitudes toward “surveillance or awareness monitoring.” Ostensibly a means to ease communication between team members who are teleworking or stationed at remote locales, a Web-enabled camera is setup at each work station. Someone needing to contact a colleague may check the colleague’s availability by accessing the camera image and see whether that colleague is at his work station, or so goes the rationale.