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Workplace Monitoring and the Christian

Employee monitoring in the workplace is a challenging issue. There are arguments on both sides for and against it. Most employees assume they can just use the internet as they would at home. However, whereas the employee owns everything at their home, everything at their office is the property of the company (Dale & Lewis, 2016, p. 279).

In America, where freedom is a right, it is often assumed that freedom is allowed anywhere and everywhere. This freedom does not, in fact, extend to private property such as the property owned by a business. Because of this conflict, in a 2005 survey, 26% of employers “had fired workers for misuse of the Internet” (Dale & Lewis, 2016, p. 279).

It makes sense that a company should be able to avoid misuse of their equipment and property, however it is also important for employees to be able to rest and recuperate throughout the day (Dale & Lewis, 2016, p. 279).

When it comes to the Christian’s use of technology, two questions must be asked. The first is how should a Christian employer handle the technology used in their business. Ephesians 6:9 says “And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven” (CSB). This same principle can be used for employers and employees. The statement “treat your slaves the same way” refers to the verses before where the slave is told to serve their master with sincerity, and a good attitude, because what the slave does they will receive back from the Lord. This means that employers should show consider the same things when thinking about their employees. This means, if and when an employer does monitor employee use of technology, it should be done with sincerity and grace.

Finally, the question is how a Christian employee should behave. In Luke 16:10, it says “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much” (CSB). This means, that as much as is possible, an employee should use the time and equipment provided by their employer for company work. The great thing about that is when a Christian employee adopts this principle, it doesn’t really matter if the employer tracks their technology usage because they will be living “above reproach” (Colossians 1:22).

References

Dale, N. & Lewis, J. (2016). Computer Science Illuminated, 6th Edition. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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