by Mike Masnick

Don't Just Spy On Employees, Bill Them As Well

from the how-not-to-build-a-loyal-workforce dept

While many studies have shown that spying on employees tends to make them less motivated and less productive, that still hasn't stopped any number of companies from coming out with tools to help show just how much you distrust your employees. The latest, however, goes a bit further than the usual reports of just what various employees have been doing while surfing the internet. This one tracks exactly how much time and bandwidth an employee uses on various websites so that an employer can bill the employee for that time. Do you think the companies that install this will also bill the employees for the amount of water they drink out of the water fountain? Maybe the wear and tear in the parking lot from driving their car into it each day as well would make sense. It's not clear why this needs to be repeated so often -- but such micromanaging of employees doesn't tend to do much good. If an employee isn't getting their job done, that's an issue that should be taken care of. However, monitoring what they're doing every minute of the day -- and then even stooping so low as to charge them for the time, is a plan that's only going to backfire. Hopefully, the first employee presented with such a bill will turn around and present a bill to the employer for any phone calls or emails handled at home as well as the time, gas and depreciation expenses of driving to work each day.

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  • identicon
    Beck, 1 Feb 2005 @ 5:30am


    The advent of RFID can facilitate innovation in this area. Place an RFID tag on the employee's ID card, and put a meter on the toilet paper dispenser.

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

    • identicon
      VonSkippy, 1 Feb 2005 @ 12:08pm

      Re: RFID

      Damn you Beck, you stole my Toilet Paper monitor idea (and probably on your un-monitored employer's time to boot).
      ...lawyers and stuff to follow...

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

  • identicon
    Brian, 1 Feb 2005 @ 6:50am

    Another idea

    Instead of being suspicious of employee behavior, how about hiring and retaining trustworthy employees to start with?
    But therein lies the problem, some businesses believe it's cheaper to hire mediocre employees and just replace them when they get fed up with unrealistic policies and leave. What you end up with is a depressing work environment where few are motivated to get the job done. Thus productivity suffers.

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

  • identicon
    Chomper, 1 Feb 2005 @ 8:56am

    No Subject Given

    Not to mention who deems what non-work related surfing? Just cos' I do photography for my company doesn't mean I don't also look at technology sites to keep my other skills up to par.

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

  • identicon
    dorpus, 1 Feb 2005 @ 9:00am

    Shift the Fat

    Capitalism is all about the bottom line, of scraping every cent of savings from lower-level employees -- so upper management can give themselves bigger salaries. Don't dare call that inefficiency, hahaha.

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

  • identicon
    Curmudgeon, 1 Feb 2005 @ 11:06am

    So what

    I don't see the problem here.
    I already charge all my employees for telephone calls (local too), for the electricity they use (based on time clock and number of items stored in the fridge), for the water they waste (based on trips to the bathroom and the number of flushes detected), for regular wear and tear on office furnishings (standard monthly fee), and a general Employment Surcharge equal to about 1.2% of their monthly paycheck.
    You have no idea how much I save. Don't knock what you haven't tried.

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

  • identicon
    Precision Blogger, 2 Feb 2005 @ 6:58am

    This is not quite something new...

    Here's an excerpt from the old song: DRILL YE TARRIERS
    The foreman's name was John McCann
    By God, he was a blamed mean man
    Last week a premature blast went off
    And a mile in the air went big Jim Goff
    And when next payday came around
    Jim Goff a dollar short was found
    When he asked, "What for?" came this reply
    "You were docked for the time you were up in the sky"
    - PB

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

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