Magazine article Management Review

Keeping Tabs on the Home-Office Contingent

Magazine article Management Review

Keeping Tabs on the Home-Office Contingent

Article excerpt

With technology changing so quickly, it is vital that employers keep up-to-date on the ways to monitor employees working outside the office.

The biggest issue currently in labor relations is what happens when people work away from the main office, according to Stephen J. Cabot, senior partner and chairman of the labor relations and employment law department of the Philadelphia-based law firm Harvey, Pennington, Herting & Renneisen Ltd. "Today, many employees work outside the office and employers want to make sure they are doing the work for which they are being paid," he says.

One way of keeping a watchful eye on this is to monitor employees' computer usage through blocking systems. "Many computer specialists say they can establish local area networks to access what a person is doing on the computer," says Cabot. "Some software can be designed to permit access only to certain areas. If one wants entry for other than designed purposes, access will not be permitted."

Cabot stresses the importance of establishing a code of ethics when these employee-monitoring programs are implemented. "The company should hold high ethical standards where there is potential for invasion of privacy," he says. "With increased technology, ethical codes of responsibility need to be established in the company."

From a legal perspective, Cabot notes, if there are problems, "the state will look into whether the company has taken proper precautions that were within its control. It is important for a company to have a code of ethics on how to conduct the program. …

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