Who’s Watching You
As millions of Americans have shifted from working in offices to working from home, more companies have begun using high-tech software to track what those employees are actually doing all day. Scott Thuman looks at the question of what’s fair.
Remember the office?
That uplifting feel of a stand-up desk, the mega-printer and endless supply of paper. Those goosebumps whenever the boss was watching?
It’s been two-years since most American businesses, in the wake of a global pandemic, sent their workers home.
New York skyscrapers, empty. Los Angeles roads, deserted.
Employees plunging into a new norm: work days starting on the couch, continuing in the kitchen, and often ending in the bedroom. And bosses keeping tabs almost every step of the way.
Brian Kropp, Vice President of Research, Gartner: One of the biggest concerns that executives had when the pandemic first started is that we’re going to move all of these employees to working from home, and all that’s going to happen is that they’re going to take naps during the day.
Brian Kropp conducts research on trends in human resources for the consulting company, Gartner. Scott Thuman: What are you seeing right now that companies are relying on the most to make sure that their employees are working when they’re at home?
Brian Kropp: So the most common thing that companies are using right now are different ways just to measure activity. So, when did you log in? When did you log off? But we’re seeing other organizations look at things like, who are you emailing? What sort of websites are you going to? And then at the extreme, using your camera on your laptop to track your facial expressions, what you’re doing, trying to get feedback from what you’re looking at and what your face actually is expressing — if you’re frustrated, if you’re tired, if you’re asleep.