#NextChat: Should Employers Monitor Workers' Social Distancing Away from Work?

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek July 1, 2020
monitoring social distancing
​This is the latest in a series of compilations of answers to a #NextChat question of the day. 

Many businesses are requiring employees who work with the public to wear masks or work behind Plexiglas barriers. They are staggering work schedules and wiping down commonly touched areas such as light switches, the copy machine and refrigerator handles in the company kitchen. They are instituting temperature checks and limiting the number of people who ride elevators and sit in conference rooms—all in the name of reducing the spread of COVID-19.

But should employers monitor their employees to see if they are adhering to social distancing while off duty? Why or why not? Those were the questions posed on a recent SHRM #NextChat by Mary Kaylor, SHRM-SCP, manager of public affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The following is a compilation of responses from Twitter:

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Coronavirus and COVID-19

—Tosin Zubair, SHRM-CP, PHRi, customer relations specialist at MTN in Abuja, Nigeria

—Jennifer Taylor, SHRM-SCP, chief people officer at Software Quality Associates in the greater Boston area

—Deirdre Oram-O'Donnell, HR coordinator at GE Transportation in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

—Garry Olive, senior recruiter at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles

—Arneta Buckeridge, HR officer at the office of the director of public prosecutions in Jamaica

—Baskaran Ambalavanan, founder and principal analyst at Hila Solutions in Irvine, Calif.

—Walter T. Rambwi, co-founder of Zimotive in Zimbabwe 

—Bernie Cobb, medical talent advisor at Relode.com and recruiting manager/HR consultant at Cobb HR Solutions in Auburndale, Fla.

More from this series:
  1. Juggling Child Care with Telework? Here Are Some Tips
  2. Bone Broth Cleanse, Push-Up Clubs: HR Pros Share COVID-19 Workout Routines
  3. For Better or Worse During COVID-19: Sharing Telework Space
  4. Tips for Employee Orientation During COVID-19
  5. COVID-19 Continuity Planning: Identify Critical Tasks, Broaden Tech Use
  6. Pet Pals Are 'Co-Workers' During Quarantine
  7. People Look Forward to Simple Pleasures After COVID-19
  8. Performance Reviews During COVID-19: Should You Suspend Them?
  9. Safety, Poor Planning Among Concerns as Employers Plan a Return to the Workplace
  10. Monday, Monday: How Do You Gear Up for the Week?
  11. Virtual Happy Hours, Games and Meals: Team Building Varies During COVID-19
  12. Pandemic Poses Recruiting, Hiring Challenges
  13. Important Lessons Learned from Your First Job
  14. Promote Mental Health by Communicating Benefits, Leading by Example
  15. NextChat: Tips for Small Businesses Post-COVID-19
  16. NextChat: HR Professionals Hope Safety Initiatives, Remote Work Will Continue in Future


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