Is it ethical to GPS-track your employees?

Many employers and companies will definitely see a benefit to knowing where their employees are when they’re on the clock. The trouble is the ethics of it – should we be tracking other humans?

Most people would agree that if an employee is on the clock, being paid to be in a certain place at a certain time, but they breach these terms, they are in the wrong. Therefore yes, it is ok to track your employees. However, tracking someone’s personal device or in their personal time, outside of work, would definitely be considered unethical.

Who would be tracked and why?

Primarily, drivers and employees using company cars – these are typically jobs that make it easy to abuse company time and funds. An employee on company time using company fuel could quite easily run a few personal errands in between.

The solution would be to have a GPS tracker either in the vehicle or an employee’s phone so that their location can be determined at any given time.

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GPS tracking a phone

Most people would take issue with their boss tracking their personal mobile device. As an employer wanting to track your employees, you would likely need to provide a company phone. This way the phone can be left at work or switched off outside of office hours. It also makes it easier to track calls etc. to make sure the phone itself is not being used for personal matters.

Should your employees know they’re being tracked?

Typically, the more honesty there is in any relationship, the better the relationship will be. If you track your employees without their knowledge or consent and they find out, it may cause tension within the workplace. It may even result in legal action should they wish to pursue the matter of being tracked without their consent.

Thus the best approach by far would be to present the concept to employees and allow them to state their case should they have a problem. They likely won’t as it will call into question what they have to hide.

How do you use GPS coordinates?

GPS coordinates correlate to a specific spot on a map. They can be entered into a program such as Google Maps, which will tell you exactly where the tracked device is currently, or was at a particular time.

mSpy GPS Location

This is the type of software you would likely use. Essentially it gives complete access to a phone. Apart from basic GPS location, mSpy can monitor internet usage, incoming and outgoing calls and SMSs as well as instant messaging apps.

If you suspect your employees may be abusing company time or devices, you can browse their work phone through a computer just as you would by physically going through the phone.

If you wish to monitor your company more closely, get consent before tracking your employees’ movements and actions. More importantly, try to maintain an open and honest relationship with all employees through team building, or even just ‘checking in’ with employees every few weeks.