EU ruling further blurs the boundaries between employees' work and private lives

The recent European court of human rights (ECHR) ruling that employers can monitor their employees online activities in the workplace, further blurs the boundaries between peoples private lives and their work.

What is clear is that the digital world calls for new thinking, leadership and management. Trust in the digital age is a difficult path for organisations to navigate as it’s closely intertwined with risk, security and privacy. The key to success for employers will be ensuring they have the trust of their people by setting clear rules about how the data is acquired, used and shared. Communicating what they are doing with their staff is key in helping to fill the trust gap and creating a more engaged workforce.

In turn, employees will be more willing to share their personal data if there is a clear personal or workplace benefit and if the data is anonymised and shared at an aggregate level. Information collected through wearable technology, for example, allows organisations to improve employee engagement by tailoring working patterns and benefits to suit individual needs. At the same time, employers need to ensure they are keeping that data secure and managing it responsibly.

The impact of digital led change is creating new challenges but also significant opportunities for organisations and employees. The trust of your people is hard to earn and easy to lose. During a transformation as rapid and life-altering as the digital age, the most dangerous thing an organisation can do is lose sight of the value of its people.

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