March 21, 2023

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‘My boss saw through the computer what the staff at home were doing. It was sinful ‘

  • Justin Parkinson
  • Da BBC News

debt, Getty Images

Photo caption,

A British worker claims that his employer and his co-workers follow everything they see on their computer screens – even at work

According to a survey conducted in the UK, electronic surveillance of employees in the home office has grown – where the government has been urged to tighten rules and ban the use of webcams.

When the first lockdown began in the UK, in 2020, engineer Chris (not his real name to protect his identity) sent most of his team home.

Also, they have to connect laptops and personal computers to the machines in the office to carry out their high-tech functions, which are very powerful.

At the time, Chris says, “We don’t care.” Until one day he went to the office and saw the screen that was on display there when each of his co-workers was working from home.

“One of the managers didn’t just look at our work,” Chris says. “What we do, all the time – what we’re watching on YouTube, he’s able to see exactly things like that.”

“That’s bad,” he continues. “Not only when we were working, the manager was looking at the screen of our personal computers to monitor what we were doing from home. It was weird.”

As the practice of epidemiology and home office progresses, the British Union Prospect has called for stricter regulatory standards in the use of employee monitoring technology.

The union is urging the government to explicitly prohibit employers from using webcams to monitor home office workers unless they are present at meetings or on virtual calls.

Prospect survey of 2,400 British workers, 32% of respondents in the UK are currently being monitored by their companies, an increase of 8 percentage points since April. The maximum rate (48%) is among workers aged 18 to 34.

The rate at which people are being monitored by cameras inside their own homes has doubled from 5% to 13% since April.

“We’m used to the idea of ​​employers checking workers, but when people work from home, it takes on a whole new dimension,” says union general secretary Mike Clancy.

“New technologies allow employers to have a fixed window inside their employees’ homes, and the use of this technology is not regulated by the government.”

The Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO), the agency responsible for this matter, recommends that employers clarify to their teams when they will be monitored – at home or in the office – before monitoring begins. Reasons for monitoring should also be stated explicitly.

ICO asks employers to consider the negative effects of monitoring their employees and to evaluate less intrusive tools, and to ask employees to report their activities by email or phone.

debt, PA Media

Photo caption,

A survey commissioned by a union shows that the percentage of workers overseen by their employers has grown in the UK.

“My productivity did not decrease when I started working from home,” he says.

“(But) I’m very nervous when I hear what’s going on (in terms of tracking) a lot of the time, my job is to get away from the screen and plan things on paper so it’s not recorded. Someone, what I’m doing on my desktop. Maybe that person (tracking) I may have thought I’d go see Netflix or something, but I’m not doing it the way the company wants it to. “

Anna Thomas, director of the Job Future Research Center, says the increase in surveillance “increases stress” for employees.

But companies that use this type of technology argue that many employees are acting reasonably when they are far from the view of their supervisors.

Official polls suggest that after easing some anti-Govt. However, many follow it in the home office.

In November, the government proposed that people have the right to flexible work when starting a new job.

“People can keep their personal lives private and have a right to some degree of privacy in the workplace,” an ICO spokesman said at the time.

“We are currently working to update our employment practices to address changes in data protection laws and to reflect new ways for employers to use technology and interact with their teams.

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