There are many positives of technology in the workplace and it definitely changed the way that we work. However, there are down sides of it too. Some employers violate basic human rights of their employees and are being unethical due to too much technology. There are many lawsuits on privacy rights and ethical behavior in the workplace. Below you can find the most common dilemmas of technology and ethics in the workplace.
- Privacy: Individual’s privacy is definitely an area that has been crossed with the development of technology. Companies can now easily monitor everything their employees do while using the company computer that is given to them. Companies can track social media usage, surfing time on the internet, websites that has been accessed and etc. Obviously, ethical problems and privacy issues may arise when the employee uses the company device for personal issues. Therefore, it is best to distinguish between a personal computer and a company computer. Also, companies should set their policies regarding the usage of company devices clearly. However, we are all human beings and unfortunately, it is not always easy to make this distinction while working on the same device at least 8 hours a day.
- Work hours: Before the internet was invented, there was the definition of an 8 hour work day and you were mainly free after you go home. There was also the definition of a workplace because you were only able to do the certain tasks at your workplace. The definition of a work day and a workplace have now blurred due to the improvement of technology. Nowadays, anyone can work from anywhere with an internet connection and is accessible from anywhere with a mobile phone. Nonetheless, just because technology makes you accessible doesn’t mean that your employer can make you work 24/7. This is not ethical because every employee deserves the time to relax and rest.
- Employee Communications: There are many court cases and objections for the employers to monitor personal communications on company device but how about if the employer monitors the communications between employees? Do you think this is ethical? Well, this is currently a dilemma because while the employers want to make sure their employees spend their time on work related tasks during work hours, it is really difficult to always focus on work related tasks due to the nature of humans. Therefore, employees should find the balance in between.