The growing trend for companies to encourage BYOD – “bring your own device” — may save money on gadgets but it can be a headache in HR. Now internet-ready watches, smart glasses and smartphones are more popular, there can be a risk attached: it could allow staff to covertly and/or habitually record conversations, actions, sensitive meetings, disciplinary hearings and more, creating a legal, ethical, and procedural nightmare for your business.
While the technology is brand new, an old-fashioned HR policy to govern usage is recommended. Surprisingly, a report by ChannelWeb.co.uk found that more than 40% of companies do not consider the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend to be on their agenda! What’s more 34% of respondents felt apathetic or had ‘mixed feelings’ about the concept of BYOD. Only a quarter were positive about BYOD and said that their employer had embraced the idea.
Ask yourself the following:
1. Will you permit staff to wear their wearable technologies at work?
2. What is the legal stance on covert audio-visual recording in any situation?
3. What is the company’s stance on covert audio-visual recording within the company?
4. Will the company ban wearable technology devices from the workplace altogether?
5. What happens if an employee covertly records a discplinary meeting, misconduct, harassment, etc., and seeks to submit this as evidence to the company? Will the company use this information even though it has been obtained through questionable means, and will the employee who made the recording be subject to disciplinary actions?
6. Will employees be able to use wearable technology as part of a whistleblowing policy to uncover corruption?
7. Are workplace video and audio recordings company confidential, and what happens if an employee shares this content?
8. Does your employee monitoring policy permit you to monitor content that wearable tech users are accessing, just as you would monitor their desktop machines?
9. How should employees use wearable technology at informal work-related social events, like the office Christmas party?
10. How, exactly, can employees use wearable technology for enjoyment and to benefit the business?
11. What are the business situations in which it is acceptable to use wearable technology?