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Barclays Installs Spyware on Employees' Computers

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Barclays HQ at Canary Wharf

Monitoring software offers Barclays employees such tips as mute the phone, disable email/chat pop-ups, and avoid breaks.

Credit: Global Trade Review

Barclays has been criticized by HR experts and privacy campaigners after the bank installed "Big Brother" employee monitoring software in its London headquarters.

The software, provided by Sapience, monitors Barclays workers' activity on their computers, and in some instances admonishes staff in daily updates if they are not deemed to have been active enough.

The system tells staff to "avoid breaks" as it monitors their productivity in real-time, and records activities such as bathroom breaks as "unaccounted activity."

"The stress this is causing is beyond belief," a source told City A.M. "Employees are worried to step away from their desks, have full lunch breaks, take bathroom breaks or even get up for water as we are not aware of the repercussions this might have on our statistics."

Sapience describes the system as offering "unprecedented visibility into how people work, with actionable insights to better manage cost and performance across teams."

The source said the rollout has turned the office into a "Big Brother state."

From City A.M.
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