A couple of months ago, my company installed a system to record the phone calls of certain employees. They set the recorder to record only the employees who have outside contacts with customers, regulatory boards, or contract personnel. The company implemented this system to resolve conflicts, clarify positions, protect the integrity of the company's contracts and verbal commitments, and provide for sales and customer service training. Naturally, this did not go over well with some of the employees who thought this was an invasion of their privacy. Some of the employees started using their cell phones or other company phones to make their personal calls. Others would complain to their coworkers and supervisors about the company's disrespect for their privacy.
I believe that employees should not be bothered by the fact the company is recording their phone calls because the phones are company property and employees are being paid to work. Employees seem to believe that their assigned phone is their phone and they can do with it as they please. It is a privilege to have a phone and employees seem to take their phones for granted. The company is paying for the phones and providing them to their employees for business purposes. It follows the same principles of the computer; employees should not browse certain types of web pages and the company can actually record Internet activity and other computer activity quite easily.
Legally, nothing employees do on their phones is private and privacy is not implied. Employees also should not be making personal calls that are not appropriate. If an employee is talking about inappropriate subjects they should not be talking about it at work, period. If the employee does not want their conversations recorded, they should not have them at work. Employees could use their cell phones to negate the recording system, but people will know that they are on a personal call. They can also go to another desk to make their personal phone calls, but this would mean that they are not working.
While at work, employees should be working on their assigned tasks. Of course, I am not saying that they should not be able to do some personal activities. Employees should be able to take breaks, gossip with coworkers, take care of personal business, and make personal phone calls, but these activities should be limited and should not disturb an employee's performance. The way I see it, while one employee is busy chatting on the phone, their coworkers are picking up the slack. Knowing their phone is being record, this employee would not be on the phone as much, and their performance would likely improve. There are many people that can talk and work simultaneously, but the lack of attention can affect their work.
Employees making excessive personal phones calls mean that they are either not working or not giving their full attention to their work. This could result in sloppiness in the employees' work, which could make the company look bad. The fact that an employee's phone recorded should not bother them; the phones recorded for business reasons and the employee should be performing business on their phones. Companies allow employees to conduct personal business on their equipment but this should not affect an employee's performance.