Though many companies include e-mail rules in their employee contracts, workers continue to send non work-related e-mails whilst at work. Of those who took a survey that asked how often employees sent or received personal e-mails at work on their company email address, 14 percent said they do “constantly.” An additional 31 percent said “very often.” Only 9.3 percent said they “never do.”
Employers can get into costly trouble over email — including private messages sent by employees using the company computers and network.
This makes it prudent for companies to monitor everything done on work computers — and how employees communicate. Companies are filtering out certain web sites and are randomly scanning employee emails that are sent and received. Routinely, but especially if any legal problems can be foreseen, all mail should be archived and catalogued.
The rules of e-mail are still changing and a new etiquette is forming around the rights of e-mail at work. We now live and work in a world in which electronic actions are easily monitored and sorted. But the battle between personal privacy and a company’s right to monitor its computers and employees Smart Phones is still creating tension between parties. Although the employee does not own their company e-mail address what they send in a personal email through their company address could compromise the company, so the company should take measures to protect it.
Employers with people working from home on a mix of equipment face a new set of problems, because an employee using their Smart Phone and the company’s computer poses the strange problem of differentiating work e-mail from personal e-mail, especially if both are delivered to the hand-held device. Clearly regulating email usage allows the employer greater control.
Do you have policies to regulate email usage?
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