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More and more businesses rely heavily on electronic technology such as telephone, fax, and e-mail.

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Introduction

More and more businesses rely heavily on electronic technology such as telephone, fax, and e-mail. All of these new technologies have brought in a new era to the present world. The use of computers and Internet for electronic commerce and information exchange has increased quite dramatically, Martina Schollmeyer (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, USA), and Helen Kelly (University of Western Ontario, Canada) showed that approximately 90% of the companies have an e-mail system at work. An employee sends and receives an average of 50 e-mail messages per week. Each employee spends about 200 minutes each week on e-mail. Among those 200 an average of 30 minutes are spent on personal e-mail. It means that every week an employee will have to spend 3 hours just reading e-mails at work. Concern regarding workplace privacy has become a huge issue along with the successfulness and cheerfulness profits that electronic mails have brought to the company. Conflicts between the employer and employee's perspectives toward the use of electronic mail system have started an invisible war in the workplace. These conflicting assertions have the potential to, create an atmosphere of mutual mistrust in the workplace and lowering company morale and production. Advantages of Electronic Mail System The lists below are few major advantages that encourage people to use electronic mail over other similar communication tools. ...read more.

Middle

Most of the companies have set up some level of surveillance system to monitoring their employees' e-mail activities. Employee's Perspective Employers believe they have the right, as an employer and as an e-mail system provider, to monitor the communications of their employees in the workplace. However, for employees, this electronic monitoring is an unacceptable intrusion of privacy. In employees respective that e-mail is more like a telephone since the rapidly growth of e-mail usage in the workplace, its natural interactive style, and the probability of instantaneous communication. Because most of the companies allow employees use telephones for private calls. As a result, employees feel that they can be as informal and natural in drafting e-mail messages as they are talking over their phone. Employees are expecting that their e-mail accounts are private in the fact of accessing their accounts is restricted by the use of personal passwords. As such, employees believe that they should have an absolute right to privacy for their e-mail communication. Also, most of the companies' electronic mail system has the connection to the Internet. The ability to communicate with the outside world makes the employees believe that the e-mail system is not restricted to business related use. Employees tend to use the system to send e-mail to friends and colleagues. ...read more.

Conclusion

The policy should clearly state what messages an employee can put in the e-mail. When and under what circumstance that employer has the right to access to their employees' accounts. Some of the following major elements should include in the policy: * The policy should address whether the company's e-mail system can be used for personal messages and/or business related only. * The policy should address whether if the company information will be allowed in any e-mail that is send outside the company (if personal e-mail is allowed). * The policy should address the company will monitor the contents of e-mail to what extent. This includes the explanation of the company owns the e-mail system and the owner has the legal right to access the system. * The policy should address whether the employees are allowed to use encryption on their e-mail. This includes the explanation on the security level that the company has provided to its employees. * The policy should address a prohibition against the post of e-mail that contains sexually explicit images or language to avoid sexual harassment. * The Policy should address any specific opinion based on others' race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs or political beliefs contain in e-mail will not be allowed to avoid discrimination. * The policy should explicitly address the procedures for disciplining employees who violate or abuse the company's e-mail policy. ...read more.

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