Thinking of ways to avoid a boss’s attention used to be a storied work tradition. It was very much so for employees in charge of company cars out on the road who could sneak a few minutes at a coffee shop or even take a snooze at home. With greater mapping and tracking technology such siestas are becoming harder and harder to pull off. Most company cars are now under tight scrutiny, but that’s not all. Employers also have the ability to track employees through their company issued cellphones too.
GPS systems were originally placed into company vehicles for good reason: to improve safety, formulate efficient routes and track them in case of theft. While they have certainly worked in all of those areas, it has raised questions of company spying and lack of trust. It is certainly within the rights of a company to review logs if a problem occurs, but should they question an employee’s every move to see if they are lying about where they’ve been or if their expenses are accurate?
Employees that don’t have to rely on a car, like those working in a city, may think they are in the clear of such scrutiny, but may be mistaken. Cellphone towers are quite good at picking up and storing location data for cellphones. In addition, some cellphones are equipped with the same GPS technology in cars. This means the employers can similarly track the actual movements of their employees just as they do with their company cars. Employees with company phones may want to think twice about those early exits.
Lastly, many employees today have lost their clandestine touch and are giving themselves away with social media posts and tweets. What’s put out on the Internet is available for everyone to see, and that means everyone. A boss might have questions about your post on that water cooler party happening of floor three, along with those frequent weekend binges.