Surveillance Software, Always-on Webcams, Is Being Used to Ensure Employees Are Really Working from Home

Written By- @pistolwhippedya

How would you feel about working from home, under the condition that you keep your webcam and microphones on? Hopefully, many of you are skeptical of this helicopter micromanaging approach. But for company leaders, it’s an ideal way to make sure their employees stay productive, and their assets are protected.

At the start of social distancing, many businesses worked quickly to provide adequate resources so their employees could work from home. High Plains Journal- an agriculture news publication for ranchers and farmers in the Midwest, sent their Kansas headquarter employees home to work in their virtual office that was created by the company’s digital marketing director, James Luce.

Thanks or no thanks to the San Francisco tech startup, Pragli, the company produced a new software that is used by High Plains Journal and is claimed to be the future of remote work. It allows employers to “peer over” the shoulders of employees to make sure they are truthfully working from home. Pragli co-founder Vivek Nair said user activity exploded 20 times over since February, and his startup will continue to work on enhancing the software’s features to give employers even more benefits.

High Plain Journal employees were instructed to make a digital avatar for use in the company’s virtual office. The online office is a replica of the physical location, consisting of chat room cubicles, and according to the Washington Post, a gossip-ready “water cooler.” To further assist managers, microphones and webcams were instructed to remain on- just in case there was a need for a face-to-face chat, similar to regular routine office procedures. Employees are expected to be one click away.

“We have no shyness now at this point,” Luce said. ”It’s weirdly brought us a little closer together.”

Not all employees are happy with the overuse of technology, and rightfully so. An older employee at the company struggled to work through the virtual program- at times, finding herself in other coworker’s video conversations or overstaying in someone’s “room” after a virtual meeting. Her avatar now shows a single tear, amplifying her dislike for the software.

Thousands of other companies have sought out ways to monitor and track employees’ productivity. In a time where employees can take advantage of working from home, companies are doing what they can to make sure they’re getting their monies worth out of employees.

Monitoring software allows companies to record internet browsing and hours of activity. Leaders have also adopted other ways to engage employees besides webcam rules. There are daily check-ins, zoom meetings, and other “be there” company virtual events to aid in monitoring staff.

Company leaders say the systems are built to boost productivity and make working from home a positive experience, claiming people love staying connected.

According to an MIT study conducted in April, nearly half of the U.S. workforce is working remotely. But working from home can be more stressful than working in the office, as the added surveillance chips away at the already thin line between work and personal life.  It can pack on extra stress and drain employees, especially during a time where people aren’t working from home for convenience but instead working from home during a crisis.

Work at home is vastly different than at the office when schools are closed, kids are home, and a virus lingers outside. NordVPN Teams, a company that runs private virtual networks for businesses, saw a spike in employee hours from 8-11 daily hours.  Workers have to find a balance under the new conditions and possibly take more time at completing tasks since they don’t have the same high-quality office equipment at home.

In a time where people are worried about the state of the world, they are being bombarded with things that seem trivial compared to the global crisis.

What are your thoughts on employee surveillance?

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source https://balleralert.com/profiles/blogs/surveillance-software-is-being-used-to-ensure-employees-are-really-working-from-home/
Surveillance Software, Always-on Webcams, Is Being Used to Ensure Employees Are Really Working from Home Surveillance Software, Always-on Webcams, Is Being Used to Ensure Employees Are Really Working from Home Reviewed by Black America Press on May 01, 2020 Rating: 5

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