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    Computer Monitoring Essay (694 words)

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    Computer monitoring is intended to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. However, it also presents the opportunity for abuse by employers and employees. An article from The Futurist provides an example of both. Kristen Bell De Tienne’s composition, Big Brother or Friendly Giant: Computer Monitoring in the 21st Century,” offers an exceptional observation of what the future may hold for those entering technological fields such as industry, commerce, medicine, and science. As computer monitoring increases, concerns arise about its effects in the workplace. According to DeTienne, “By the end of the decade, as many as 30 million people may constantly be monitored in their jobs” (462).

    As computer systems become more sophisticated, this number will drastically increase. As we enter this new age of technology, we must remember that with more power comes more responsibility for employers and employees alike. Michael J. Smith, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains that knowledge can be used as a weapon or as a tool (De Tienne 462). For instance, monitoring abuse can be found in the situation of airline agents. The agents discovered that by keeping customers on hold while finishing their work, they could gain an extra 5-minute break (De Tienne 462).

    In the future, evasions of work will be stopped. For this reason, employees who are accustomed to evading the monitoring system may no longer be able to tolerate it (De Tienne 463). These types of employees may find that they can no longer survive the added pressure of not being able to evade the system (DeTienne 463). While monitoring can add pressure to some employees, it can also be a relief to others. It is a relief to the employee because it provides information readily at hand. With the use of prompts, acting as reminders to workers of information needed, it is passed on efficiently, allowing employees to do a better job.

    However, if prompts are used to tell an employee how much time has been wasted or how poorly they are doing their job, it could cause the opposite effect (DeTienne 463). Monitoring can have a positive effect on workers by allowing them to access their own information. In a study by Christopher Early, information about job performance given by a computer was accepted better than a performance rating given by a boss. This can only have positive results for both employers and employees (De Tienne 463). At this time, monitoring is based on the output of an employee’s performance.

    In the future, there will be more freedom for employees to use their own ideas, making monitoring more effective (DeTienne 464). Monitoring will be used mostly as a tool. One example of monitoring as a weapon is when a woman was threatened with losing her job for taking an extra minute in the bathroom. This added stress caused her to suffer a nervous breakdown.

    The company insisted that they were not spying” but were only trying to improve their business (DeTienne 465). If monitoring is not used correctly, businesses will suffer from increases in operating costs due to “increased turnover, absenteeism, medical costs, and worker’s compensation” (DeTienne 465). Employers who use positive reinforcement with monitoring will guarantee better motivation. Therefore, employers receive the benefits of better business (DeTienne 465). Although most employers will use monitoring in a positive way, legislation may be needed to protect employees from those who abuse the monitoring system.

    The protection of employees should be the most important issue now and in the future. Legislation has the potential to help employees with issues of better treatment and the right to privacy (De Tienne 465). In the New Century, companies that succeed, according to John Scully, chairman of Apple Computers, will be the ones who learn from the past and avoid the “me boss and you employee” mentality. Instead, employers should strive to make employees feel better about themselves and their jobs (DeTienne 466). A good blacksmith can take a hammer and forge a weapon into a tool that can benefit the whole village. Employers are the blacksmiths, and employees are the hammers; monitoring is the tool.

    It takes both to make a tool to benefit the future. Bibliography: DeTienne, Kristen Bell. Big Brother or Friendly Coach: Computer Monitoring in the 21st Century.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J.

    Rosen New York. Addison Wesley Longhorn, Inc. 1997-466

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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