Freedom Elusive For On-The-Road Jobs

from the you're-being-tracked dept

This isn't surprising -- nor particularly new -- but now it seems like almost every company that involves having drivers out on the road is gravitating towards using GPS systems to monitor where their employees are and what they're doing. While it may cut down on slackers and those who are goofing off, it also has many unintended consequences, such as workers feeling like their bosses can't trust them. It also makes them increasingly nervous and anxious. One driver notes that he gets antsy if workers where he buys lunch are slow because he knows he's being watched and not moving. While there are plenty of good reasons to track where drivers are, it seems like companies employing this type of technology might want to consider those unintended consequences as well, and think about ways to minimize the negative ones.
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2004 @ 6:14am

    No Subject Given

    that's like saying that you'd rather have your company running without a proxy server, because despite the amount of spyware you cut down, you make your employees "anxious". These guys were clocking in 300 hours of overtime at the garbage company until this system was employed. Once it was, it went down to 70. Are there some employers that are going to be incredibly ridiculous about this? Of course there are, but the alternative of simply accusing your drivers of things you're not even sure happened just isn't a great alternative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 30 Dec 2004 @ 9:27am

      Re: No Subject Given

      that's like saying that you'd rather have your company running without a proxy server, because despite the amount of spyware you cut down, you make your employees "anxious".

      Er... no. Do proxy servers make people anxious? I don't think so. But the GPS systems have made workers upset and anxious and that can cost.

      Also, there's a big difference in what you describe. Setting up a proxy server to block spyware isn't the same as spying on your workers. However, it is similar to using that proxy server to monitor everything your employees do on the job, and as we've said plenty of times that has been shown to NEGATIVELY impact productivity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Wuestefeld, 30 Dec 2004 @ 6:35am

    Who watches the watchers?

    In a neighboring town a few years ago, most of the police force was dismissed (and some brought up on charges) when it was discovered that police officers' locations, as recorded by previously-secret GPS in the cars, showed them in different locations than what they signed on their formal reports. (the public has never been told where they *really* were)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    VonSkippy, 30 Dec 2004 @ 1:01pm

    Boo Hoo

    "... it seems like companies employing this type of technology might want to consider those unintended consequences as well, and think about ways to minimize the negative ones."

    Yeah, like don't hire slackers or cry babies.

    What a bunch of whiners crying that their mean old bosses don't want them to take 5 hour lunches and detour a few hundred miles to hook up with their mistresses. If you're a good driver, you got nothing to worry about. If you're not, you deserve to be fired, now they will have the proof to do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2004 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Boo Hoo

      Sometimes when I'm out getting lunch, the place takes a while and I worry about being away from my desk for too long. People might look for me and notice that I've been away for a long time. I think that's called having a job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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