There is a good chance that your employer is tracking your online behaviour even when you are working from home.
If you are using a device that your company provided, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop, you should always assume that the company is either monitoring your activities or will conduct an audit at some point. Companies want to measure productivity, see what you’ve been doing online, and verify that you have not violated any company policies.
With so many of us now working from home amid the COVID-19 crisis, the lines between work and personal activity are more blurred. Many people are almost certainly using their work devices for personal activities such as online shopping, personal emails, internet searches, and social media. Those are all fair game for your employer to monitor.
Tracking software can not only see which websites you visit, but can also measure the time you take on tasks, record your keystrokes and even take screen captures of your monitor.
This is all perfectly legal in Canada. However, your employer must inform you that you are being monitored. You should be well aware of what they are tracking and how, as well as what personal calls or emails are permitted.
This may have communicated to you when you were first given your work phone or computer. Most companies will ask employees to sign a document agreeing to their usage policies for the devices they own.
Of course, many of us are pretty excited to receive a shiny new piece of technology from work and may not read the fine print. If you’re unsure about your company’s employee tacking programs, you should ask for another look at the document.
Also, whenever you are using a work device, you should avoid any activity that you wouldn’t want your employer to see. Save the personal emails, online banking, and other sensitive activities for a computer that you own outright.