I came across this article from The Guardian a few days ago and it details the rise of productivity trackers for remote workers in various industries. I was halfway through the article when I came to the conclusion that I definitely made the right move to go into self-employment because I would loathe to work in that type of environment. Basically through these trackers micromanagement goes electronic for remote workers. And I hate being micro-managed.
Micromanagement Goes Electronic For Remote Workers Because Companies Don’t Trust Their Employees
Companies install these programs onto company computers because they don’t trust their employees. It’s a big reason why they want their employees to return to the office.
Speaking from my experience managers want to see that you aren’t slacking off on company’s time. If employees work in the office then management can watch them easily. At previous jobs managers would watch me and my coworkers for the entire shift. While we worked we did the bare minimum. In a sense that’s what these productivity tracking programs do.
As micromanagement goes electronic for remote workers their employers think they will pretend to work when they aren’t. I concede some employees take advantage of the situation, but the majority report they get more work done and do work longer. Really, I think more in-office employees slack off more than their at-home coworkers through frequent breaks and talking with each at their desks.
I only wish some companies would just be honest with their employees. I trained people at past several jobs, and I told them what I expected of them:
- Ask questions when you need help
- Do your work
That was it. I told the new employees I wasn’t going to watch them to make sure they did their work because they were an adult. I had my daily tasks and so did they. Thus, if they didn’t complete them I would know and they would get in trouble. After instituting that type of trust I didn’t have any problems with the vast majority of the new employees.
Micromanagement Goes Electronic For Remote Workers And This Will Ruin Morale
The biggest reason that I hate these tracking programs because it ruins morale. Some of the applications keeps your camera on your computer on for the entire shift. Others do that and take a picture of your desktop every minute, sending it back to a database for your manager to review. This is all to make sure the employee is working and not slacking off.
As micromanagement goes electronic for remote workers their morale will decrease because just taking a few moments to think makes you appear lazy. I know when I would have a problem requiring some thought I would sit and stare at the screen. Sometimes I read documentation, other times I collected my thoughts. Yet, these programs can’t collect context, only split-second pictures.
I know these programs have their place, like with customer service jobs and other jobs that deal with sensitive information like Protected Health Information (PHI) or banking details. However, for other industries or job I think these trackers server little purpose than to spy on remote workers.
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