How to Legally Monitor Your Employee Emails at Work

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As the business grows and expands over time, it becomes difficult for employers to ensure that their employees are working as efficiently as possible. If there is no employee supervision, employees can waste a lot of time at work and do not perform their duties effectively. They can waste a ton of the company’s resources if they are not paying attention to their tasks.

For every company, whether it is big or small, it is important to regularly keep a check on the activities of their employees. Employers can adopt various monitoring methods to keep a close eye on their employee activities. One of the most popular methods to monitor employees is email monitoring.

Email monitoring is the process in which employers keep track of their employee emails. All incoming and outgoing emails of the employees are checked by employers. Basically, all the email correspondence of employees is regularly monitored by employers during their working hours.

To keep a check on employee emails, employers normally install monitoring software on the employee devices, including their computers, laptops, and smartphones. iPhone and Android spy apps can also be installed on employee smartphones to monitor all the incoming and outgoing emails on their devices.

Though employee monitoring and email monitoring in the workplace is legal and valid, still many employers need to check with the laws and regulations of the country they are based in whether or not employee monitoring is legal. In this article, we will talk about whether or not employers can legally monitor employee emails at work and how they can keep a check on employee emails.

Is It Possible to Legally Monitor Employee Emails?

Ever since most companies went into the lockdown situation due to Covid-19, employers who didn’t consider employee monitoring, in the beginning, had to consider monitoring tools and install them in the employee devices, including those who worked from home during the pandemic.

By installing monitoring software on the employee devices, employers were able to monitor employee emails, text messages, location, internet browsing history, as well as phone calls. Technology had made it quite easier for employers to keep track of all communication taking place in the workplace remotely.

All they need to do is install the monitoring software on employee devices and remotely track their activities from their online dashboards. Normally, it is allowed for employers to monitor employee devices including their work email communications, internet, and smartphone usage.

All emails sent or received through a company email account are not considered private. If an email enters or goes from the company’s email server, then it is no longer considered private. In fact, it is considered a property of the employer, and the employer is permissible to keep a check on them.

Employers can monitor employee email communications as long as it is being done for a valid business reason and purpose. On the other hand, if an employee sends and receives email through a private email service such as Gmail or Yahoo, then those emails are considered private and employers are not permissible to track them. If they do so, it would be considered an illegal action and an employee may take some action against it.

Employers should check with the laws and regulations of the country they are based in and see whether or not it is legal for them to monitor employee emails. In most countries, it is legal for employers to monitor employee emails and all workplace communication but still, employers need to approach employee monitoring with careful consideration and caution.

The Right Way to Legally Monitor Employee Emails

Undoubtedly, employee monitoring is essential for every employer. You cannot simply trust your employees to do the work efficiently. There needs to be some sort of supervision and monitoring of your employees to ensure they are on the right track. Gone are the days when you simply had to put your trust in your employees and let them work on their own.

Thanks to advanced technology, we now have several employee monitoring tools that can help us keep a close eye on our employees. We can track their text messages, emails, internet browsing history, location, and even phone calls.

All employers need to be careful while monitoring their employees at work. They need to monitor them in a fair and proportionate manner so that they can avoid breaching employee privacy rights. They cannot monitor their personal emails and they cannot monitor them after working hours.

Below, we have outlined a few tips to help you legally monitor employee emails.

  • Employers should create a monitoring policy informing all employees that their smartphone and computer usage will be monitored and that employees should not expect to remain private on employer’s computer systems.
  • Employers should make sure that all employees go through the monitoring policy and acknowledge its receipt.
  • Employers should not access sites that are password protected such as personal email services including Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, and social media apps without getting explicit written approval from employees to do so.
  • Employers should not monitor employee emails after working hours. As soon as employee shift ends, they are allowed to do whatever they want, even if they are using the company’s computer systems.

How to Monitor Employee Emails on their Devices

As we mentioned earlier, there are several monitoring tools that help employers keep a check on employee emails. All they need to do is download and install the monitoring software on employee devices and start monitoring their emails through online dashboards.

Employers need to log into their online dashboards to be able to remotely monitor employee emails. Some employers also install the best spy app for Android and iPhone on employee smartphones (company-based) and remotely monitor all the activity taking place on their devices.

Besides emails, employers can monitor all the activities employees are indulged in on their smartphones and computers. They can find out what sites employees are visiting, what social media apps they are spending their time on, how much time they are spending on each app and site, what sort of videos they are watching on YouTube, etc.

They can also use exclusive email monitoring software to track employee emails at work. This kind of software helps them monitor all incoming and outgoing emails on the employee email account. They can also check the date and time stamp of each email that comes and goes from the employee email account. What’s more, they can also get information of all the senders and recipients saved in the employee address book.