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ATO Now Snooping On Its Employees … Start of a New Trend?.

With the unprecedented growth of the world wide web and social media, other consequences inevitably arise …

Unauthorized use by employees in the workplace!

Companies are benefiting from the world wide web and social media to access information faster, gain more exposure and increase their profits. But it also has the challenge of employees who are now tempted to use work time to check Facebook, and Twitter, research property prices for investment purposes, go on dating sites, etc.

And like everything else, it’s the ATO who are on the front foot in dealing with this.

Firstly, they have installed screenshot technology to randomly monitor their employees and what they are doing in work time. And enforcing it too as one employee recently found out.

Secondly, they have introduced standards of conduct for employees on their Facebook page. They have told staff not to identify themselves as ATO employees or if they do, bad language and other inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated and considered in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Servants.

So even the ATO’s own employees can’t escape their crackdowns! That gives businesses some comfort I’m sure …

I myself worked for the ATO for 10 years and it sounds like more rigorous days than when I worked there!

Is this a sign of a growing trend for big companies? Or is it already entrenched? I’m not sure.

But it sure raises some interesting issues.

For example, if an employee works in the social media marketing department of a company, and has to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, how would a business distinguish between their private use and between company use? Will they need permanent monitoring of the computer?

Perhaps the answer lies in becoming more results focused with employees.

In my business, my policy it is too difficult to strictly enforce this. So I allow a reasonable amount of private use in work time, provided my employees deliver me results, and make up the time later on. Apart from a few isolated instances, this has worked well, the staff appreciates the trust, and I have happier more productive staff.

But with bigger companies, I can appreciate it would not always be so clear-cut.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days as more and more social media sites arise …

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