work emails

Sending Personal Emails At Work Could Get You Into Trouble

work emails

Online privacy is always appearing in the news and with our reliance on technology to do everything this is no wonder. A constant problem in workplaces across the globe is employees blurring the lines between work emails and home emails.  


In the US, one third of employees who are fired have the reason of excessive or inappropriate email usage as a contributing factor. And if reports are correct that we spend approximately 70% of our time in work or on our phones and laptops, would that not make sense then to use our work emails more?


Quick personal emails

The problem is that we seem to be using our Gmails and Yahoo’s much less and prefer to ping off a quick email to our friend to say we’re running late for that coffee or the landlord to advise of a leaky tap that needs to be fixed.


Surely that’s not “excessive”?


But even if you don’t use your emails and send a message via Facebook chat instead, it’s actually just as dangerous because everything you do on your office PC or laptop during work time is not only accessible to IT, but indeed technically on work time and therefore legally owned by your company.


And therefore your employer has every right to question every correspondence you send. Or are we just getting very George Orwell all of a sudden?


Most companies require employees to sign an IT disclosure form; how many of us read it before we sign is debatable but I’m willing to take a bet that it’s not many. Once you sign that form, you are agreeing to hand over pretty much your entire digital identity while at work to your employer. And by default, your friends and colleagues details and identities.


That figure of 70% is actually skewed as well – if your boss doesn’t like you and plans to get rid of you, it would be very easy to use excessive or inappropriate email use as a reason to fire you whereas you may see your correspondence as normal and perfectly within the work remit.


Inappropriate doesn’t mean dodgy emails to colleagues about sensitive subjects or gossip about your boss though – this can also mean sending your landlord an email about that tap.


Our judgement is blurred

Which brings us back to square one – our judgment is being blurred more and more by the age of technology and considering we are online virtually 24/7, it stands to reason we’ll condense our online life to make things easier?


You must also remember that anything you do online, whether on the internet or on your own work network, can never be fully deleted. You will never be able to outsmart the IT guy; they don’t care who you are or what you’ve done. They don’t discriminate, but with the invention of big data, it’s very easy for companies to track what you do during your workday.


The key point to keep remembering is – if you don’t want your employer to have access to your personal online presence, don’t do it at work.


Limit your social life to your home PC or private phone and remember that perhaps it’s time to look at whether you’re really doing your job well if you find yourself spending more time chatting online than doing work.


View original article in The

Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 30 November 2017

Related Content


Sigmar Announces “COVID Ready” Learning Partnership with Alison to Upskill Newly Unemployed

Sigmar Announces “COVID Ready” Learning Partnership with Alison to Upskill Newly Unemployed

Sigmar Recruitment and Alison today announce a COVID ready learning partnership as part of the emergency jobs initiative The initiative is an online platform set up by Sigmar Recruitment to help connect the displaced workforce with current frontline job opportunities, and to upskill the restricted workforce to enhance career prospects and enable a faster economic recovery. Alison, one of the largest learning websites worldwide, is now offering access to all of its courses free and unencumbered through The learning content being offered through the platform has been hand curated to reflect in-demand, recession-proof skills across an array of business and IT disciplines, including; data science project management customer service accounting web development computer networking e-commerce The core learning has been paired with lifestyle courses covering mental health, stress management and practical content on parenting while working from home for example aimed to support those working remote throughout the crisis period and beyond. The learning pathways have also been designed with jobseekers in mind with content on public speaking, job hunting, personal development supported by jobseeker advice on how to compete in the current marketplace, including tips on video interviewing, digital collaboration, remote onboarding and much more. Commenting on the partnership, founder of the initiative and Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “As one of the world’s largest free learning platforms, Alison presents an excellent opportunity for newly unemployed in Ireland to upskill. The learning content has been COVID curated for maximum impact encompassing business skills, IT skills, mental health and personal development. We also aim to support the restricted workforce by providing upskilling opportunities during the downtime, to better equip our workforce to rebound from the crisis in the medium term.” Speaking at the announcement, Alison Founder & CEO, Mike Feerick stated that the gesture is one Alison is happy to make. “While being a global learning business, most of our team live and work in Ireland and know personally people whose employment has been jeopardised by the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Alison has over 1,500 free certificate and diploma courses, in subjects from project management, languages, IT, to health & safety, elderly caregiving, MS Excel and free courses on GDPR. “If you have been laid off, it is an opportunity to build up and strengthen your workplace skills to enhance your chances for employment in the months and years ahead. We are delighted to partner with Sigmar on the COVID Jobs Initiative.” is a for purpose “Team Ireland” initiative created by Sigmar Recruitment, supported by Alison, Candidate Manager, The Irish Times and Communicorp, established to mobilise the Irish Workforce.