Employee monitoring software could alienate remote workers

Published: 2 November 2022

Remote work promised office workers more freedom and flexibility, but digital surveillance tools are already eroding that. Some employers use digital surveillance tools that monitor employees’ computer activity by logging the keystrokes on their keyboard, and even taking web cam photos to ensure that they are dutifully staring at their screens. But this is short-sighted, says Desautels Prof Jean-Nicolas Reyt, as it may cause office relationships to take an unhealthy turn. These metrics are usually poor proxies for performance, and employer-employee relationships run deeper than this. “Employees want to know things like, ‘Do I feel like I’m in a place where I’m respected?’ or ‘Am I treated right?’ These factors are seriously challenged when employers are spying on employees,” Reyt says.

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