Privacy in the workplace is very important not only for one individual, but for the entire office staff. Privacy can mean different things. It can either be privacy in terms of minimizing office noise. Privacy can also mean individuals not interfering with the work of personnel from other departments. Privacy can even relate to private employee concerns not being shared among office staff. Despite the different interpretations of privacy, it still goes back to its most basic definition: the state of being free from being disturbed by other people.
It is a proven fact that people do not want to be disturbed by unnecessary noise or personal problems when they are focused on a task. The last thing we want to have is some annoying person continuing to talk or share gossip when we are deep at work. We also do not want to hear issues or problems that do not affect in any way our performance and daily responsibilities. These types of issues (mostly office gossip) only provide distractions.
Privacy in the workplace is needed for employee focus and productivity. No work will ever be finished if employees are too distracted. This will result in major financial problems for the company. Clients will definitely not be happy if they are not given consistent results.
If you work in the human resources department or you are in middle or top management responsible for making company policies, here are some workplace privacy and other multipurpose policy templates you can use for your own company.
As previously stated, workplace privacy policies are important since they can affect the overall productivity of employees. The office is where employees work to accomplish the company’s goals and objectives. Although there is always time for employees to get together and de-stress like during lunch and snack time or after work, the central focus should be on work and work alone during official operational hours.
This is where workplace privacy policies come into full effect to make sure employees are doing their tasks to their maximum potential. These policies also make sure that employees avoid unnecessary office gossip which might affect the performance of other employees. There are certain issues like family and financial problems which should only be discussed with specific people, not the entire office staff. If an issue or gossip gets out of hand, it will definitely affect the relationship between co-workers and cause that relationship to become strained. If relationships get strained within the office, then it will definitely cause some serious problems within the company where divisions will be made and office workers are forced to pick a side.
You might be asking yourself: Who makes the workplace privacy policies? Most of the time, human resource personnel are tasked in constructing a draft and eventually the final written company policies with the approval of middle or top management. Some of the most common policies which the human resource department or management create are: hiring policies, salary policies, attendance or punctuality policies, usage of office equipment policies, and termination or suspension policies.
There is one general rule when making not only privacy policies but business documents in general: They should be as detailed as possible and no information should be left out. If all the details are listed accurately, then the rest will follow. Here are some tips on how to make effective workplace privacy policies.
Employee concerns should be your main priority when writing workplace privacy policies. Not all employees handle criticisms the same way and not all have the same personalities. So, it is better to create a balance between sensitive and aggressive employees and make policies that suit your employees’ different personalities. Although it is evident that no person likes to be disturbed when he or she is working hard on a specific task, the tolerance level of employees should also be considered when making workplace privacy policies.
There are two parties to consider when you create your policies—the management and the employees. If you are in management and you create your company’s policies, you should be mindful that the policies should not focus on the employees alone, but also on the management as well. This is for the main purpose of preventing abuse from the employees while also preventing high turnover or attrition rates within the company.
Policies are meant to be amended. There are no policies, whether it is for business or government, which have remained intact for more than 20 years. This is mostly due to the ever changing landscapes and preferences of individuals which cause some products and services to decline while some products and services to increase in demand. This does not only apply to material things but also to people (specifically employees). Employee attitudes and tolerance to work change constantly, so policies need to be amended when necessary to fit the employees’ wants and needs.