The Invasion of the Digital Big Brother: Unraveling the Secrets of Workplace Surveillance

Published Categorized as News
Workplace Surveillance

In the era of remote work, where the lines between personal and professional life blur, the rise of surveillance tools has become a contentious issue. We conducted an in-depth study, in collaboration with Pollfish, exploring the impact of employer surveillance on remote workers. Brace yourselves as we delve into the nitty-gritty details of the forest where digital eyes are always watching.

Workplace Surveillance

The Remote Work Dilemma: Balancing Productivity and Privacy

The Covid-19 pandemic ushered in the era of remote work, but the burning question remains – are employees as productive at home? The need for productivity has led to an increase in surveillance, with companies resorting to monitoring software. Our study, commissioned by ForestVPN, unveils the extent of surveillance on desk workers’ privacy.

Key Findings: Unveiling the Shadows of Surveillance

Ethical Quandaries:

  • 83% of employers acknowledge ethical concerns with employee monitoring.
  • Paradoxically, 78% use monitoring software despite ethical apprehensions.

Employee Awareness:

  • 1 in 3 employees doesn’t believe someone actively monitors their online activities.
  • Shockingly, 15% are oblivious to the fact that monitoring is even possible.

Mental Toll:

  • 56% of employees experience stress and anxiety due to employer surveillance.
  • Constant fear of being watched plagues 41% of employees.

Privacy or Pay: The Employee Dilemma


  • 48% of employees would sacrifice pay to avoid surveillance.
  • 25% are willing to take a significant 25% pay cut.

Firing Fodder:

  • 41% of employees admit their recorded work calls could lead to termination.
  • 37% of employers have used stored recordings for firing decisions.

Performance Reflection:

  • 73% of employers use stored communication for performance reviews.
  • 46% monitor for potential workers’ union formation.

The Unease Among Bosses: Navigating Remote Productivity

Control Fears:

  • 74% of employers feel a lack of control over their business in remote settings.
  • 69% feel uneasy about remote work due to the inability to observe employees in person.

Surveillance Surge:

  • 78% of companies use monitoring software in the past 6 months.
  • 90% actively track time spent by employees on work-related activities.

Channels of Watchful Eyes:

  • Emails (94%), calls (87%), videos (87%), and messages (85%) are regularly recorded and stored.
  • Access to stored recordings is given to bosses (68%), IT department (47%), and even everyone in the company (13%).

The Knowledge Gap: What Employees Think vs. Reality

Unaware Risks:

  • 81% of employees use employer-provided devices without realizing the extent of monitoring.
  • 1 in 6 employees is unaware that employers can monitor their communications and online activities.

Embarrassing Activities:

  • 1 in 3 employees use work computers for embarrassing activities.
  • These include chats with friends (43%) and Google searches on potentially awkward topics (42%).

Psychological Impact:

  • 59% of employees feel stress and anxiety due to surveillance.
  • Employees believe monitoring violates trust (43%) and causes resentment (26%).

Employee Tactics: Navigating the Surveillance Maze

Bypassing Tracking:

  • 49% of employees pretend to be online while engaging in non-work activities.
  • 31% use anti-surveillance software, and 25% research hacks to fake online activity.

Employer Considerations:

  • 59% of employers are likely to implement monitoring software.
  • 54% are willing to quit if the employer introduces surveillance measures.

Employee Backlash:

  • 21% of employers are unlikely to inform staff about monitoring.
  • 1 in 4 employees would cut their pay by 25% or more to avoid surveillance.

Employer’s Dilemma: Ethics vs. Control

Pro-Monitoring Stance:

  • Some employers believe monitoring ensures expectations are met.
  • They argue it fosters a sense of responsibility and improves performance.

Anti-Monitoring Sentiments:

  • Others feel monitoring erodes trust and morale.
  • Trust is considered crucial, and oppressive monitoring affects staff satisfaction negatively.

The Forest of Uncertainty: Implications of Workplace Surveillance

Negative Outcomes:

  • 43% of employees view surveillance as a violation of trust.
  • 28% feel unappreciated, and 26% harbor resentment.

Employee Voices:

  • Employees express frustration with being treated like children.
  • They critisise micro-management for hindering enjoyment and causing stress.


Q1: Is ForestVPN a reliable solution for countering workplace surveillance? A1: Absolutely! ForestVPN is designed to safeguard your online privacy, making it an ideal ally against intrusive employer surveillance.

Q2: How does ForestVPN differ from other VPNs in protecting user privacy? A2: ForestVPN not only shields your online activities but also ensures your employer’s watchful eyes are kept at bay, offering enhanced security and a commitment to preserving user privacy.

Q3: Can ForestVPN help alleviate the stress and anxiety caused by workplace surveillance? A3: Indeed! ForestVPN provides a digital haven, offering a sanctuary where your online activities remain private, helping to alleviate the negative psychological effects of surveillance.

Take control of your online privacy and security with ForestVPN