Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Brother at Work?

I received an interesting question today about the decision to send an e-mail to their boss. The issue/concern surrounded the fact that important e-mail and voice messages were deleted while the individual was on vacation. The writer of the query seemed determined to demand to know why the communications were deleted.

My response to the questions raised was as follows:
  • When sending e-mail, tone is critical
  • Never send an e-mail when you are emotional about the subject matter
  • In the case of the individual who was alleging that her employer deleted the e-mail and voice-mail were deleted on purpose, it is important to consider the fact that these forms of communication were deleted in error
  • In the case of the said individual, it is also important to consider that the employer believed that the information found within the communications needed urgent attention and felt that waiting until the employee returned from vacation to address the issues and concerns of the customer did not serve the best interest of the customer
It is important for all employees to know that all communications received while you are an employee at work or on work-supplied tools such as laptops, Blackberries, cell phone, etc. belong to the employer. All employees should assume that their boss is reviewing all correspondence, listening in on all phone calls and using the embedded GPS devices in the company supplied ‘toys’ to confirm that their employees are in fact where they say they are.