Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, more employees are working from their homes, more than ever before. But does that mean managers and business leaders let up with their bizarre, over-reaching workplace surveillance? Not a chance.
In an office, surveillance tech can be justified a little bit: It’s defensible for an employer to not want workers using company computers for personal business. Surveillance software also be used for cybersecurity. But now? Bloomberg reports that workplace-surveillance software is flying off shelves and being forced on people working in their own homes — a massive breach of trust and privacy.
The range of surveillance tech being forced upon workers today is appalling to the point of absurdity. Some companies impose software tracking whatever the employee does — specific programs can even flag employees who print their resume — others take a picture through the laptop’s camera every few minutes.
Bloomberg reports that some employers have even required employees to join an all-day video conference, just to keep an eye on them.
Of course, executives frame the surveillance as a way to boost productivity. But some, like Axos Financial Inc. CEO Gregory Garrabrants, one of the highest-paid banking execs in the world, puts it more bluntly.
“We have seen individuals taking unfair advantage of flexible work arrangements,” Garrabrants wrote in a memo reviewed by Bloomberg. Slacking workers “will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”
The most telling part? Axos spokesman Gregory Frost refused to say whether Garrabrants was subject to the same surveillance — and we have a pretty good hunch about that.
READ MORE: Bosses Panic-Buy Spy Software to Keep Tabs on Remote Workers [Bloomberg]
More on surveillance tech: Walmart Patents Tech for Eavesdropping on Workers