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More Firms Are Monitoring Workers Electronically, Poll Says

April 16, 1999|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS, --workplace reporter

If you think your boss is spying on you, the good news is you're not being paranoid. The bad news is your boss probably is spying on you.

An increasing number of major U.S. companies are monitoring electronic mail or otherwise keeping tabs on their employees, according to a survey released Thursday by the American Management Assn.

A total of 45% of companies electronically monitor their workers' communications and performance, up from 35% two years ago, and 27% check employee e-mail messages, up from 15%, the survey of 1,050 AMA members found. Forms of surveillance included recording and review of telephone conversations or voice mail messages, tracking telephone numbers called and time spent on calls, and tracking computer time and number of keystrokes entered.

An average of 84% of companies with such practices inform their employees of their policies, the AMA said.

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