Companies may find that monitoring employees' internet use causes more trouble than it is worth, according to US lobby group the National Workrights Institute.
The group believes that, while companies have the right to prevent the loss of productivity caused by staff browsing the web and using email for personal reasons, there are better ways to do this than by monitoring their activity.
A paper on the group's website said: "Although electronic monitoring often does lead to increased productivity, this is frequently accompanied by a decrease in quality and customer service.
"Electronic monitoring is not the easy fix for management and the production problems which employers are looking for.
The report concludes that the more managers increase the number of tasks that are monitored, the higher the likelihood that quantity will become more important than quality.
"Instead of introducing electronic monitoring to increase production, employers would be better served employing quality management to monitor the quality of work their employees are producing."
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