Skip to main content

Your personal messages are being monitored at work

UK employees are sending up to 100 private messages a day while at work without realising their employers could be monitoring their content.

Dice, a career site for those in the technology community, has released new research indicating that employees in UK companies are sending a tremendous amount of private messages throughout the work day including applications or inquiries about possible new jobs.

69 per cent of workers in the UK admit to regularly using email, text messaging, WhatsApp, Facebook and other messaging platforms for personal use during work hours. Some of the younger respondents to Dice's survey even admitted to sending as many as 100 personal messages a day. Overall the trend is being led by workers aged 16-24 with 96 per cent of this age range saying that they send personal messages at work.

The survey highlights how many employees are completely unaware of the rules their workplaces have set in place when it comes to monitoring private messages sent on company time. Almost half (42 per cent) of the respondents were not aware that their employer may be entitled to monitor the content of the messages they send on company devices. This comes after new legislation was passed in 2016 over a case where an employee was fired for messaging his fiancée on Yahoo Messenger while at work.

Employees are not only sending private message but they are also using poor judgement in regard to the content of their messages. 40 per cent have communicated with a new job at work, 9 per cent have discussed personal matters about their relationship or have flirted with a co-worker and 31 per cent have spent their time shopping online during work hours.

Despite their company's policy in regard to monitoring personal messages often being detailed in their contracts, 27 per cent felt angry and claimed it was an invasion of their privacy, 21 per cent thought their employer was acting like 'big brother' and 18 per cent said that it was a breach of human rights.

[interaction id="571a3b8b34cf298c45c7d2e6"]

Image Credit: Dragon Images / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.