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How My Boss Monitors Me While I Work From Home


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Working from home.

A growing number of employers is using software to track the productivity of employees working from home.

Credit: mapodile/iStock.com

On April 23, I started work at 8:49 a.m., reading and responding to emails, browsing the news and scrolling Twitter. At 9:14 a.m., I made changes to an upcoming story and read through interview notes. By 10:09 a.m., work momentum lost, I read about the Irish village where Matt Damon was living out the quarantine.

All of these details — from the websites I visited to my GPS coordinates — were available for my boss to review.

Here's why: With millions of us working from home in the coronavirus pandemic, companies are hunting for ways to ensure that we are doing what we are supposed to. Demand has surged for software that can monitor employees, with programs tracking the words we type, snapping pictures with our computer cameras and giving our managers rankings of who is spending too much time on Facebook and not enough on Excel.

The technology raises thorny privacy questions about where employers draw the line between maintaining productivity from a homebound work force and creepy surveillance. To try to answer them, I turned the spylike software on myself.

 

From The New York Times
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