As My Boss Is Watching Me While I Work From Home

As My boss is watching Me While I from home

LONDON — April 23 Work, I started work at 8:49 PM, read and respond to E-Mails, browse the news scroll, and Twitter. At 9:14 PM I’ve made changes to an upcoming story, and you read through the interview notes. At 10:09 PM, the work has lost momentum, I lived through the Irish village, in which Matt Damon from the quarantine.

All of these details — from the websites I visited to check my GPS-coordinates — for my boss.

The technology raises thorny questions about privacy, about, where employers draw the line between maintaining the productivity of a on paved roads work force, and creepy surveillance. Turned try, to answer you, I spylike software to me.

Last month I downloaded employee monitoring software by Hubstaff, an Indianapolis company. Every few minutes, it snapped a screenshot of the sites I searched, the documents I wrote and the social media sites that I visited. From my phone, it mapped where I went, including a two-hour bike ride that I took to Battersea Park with my kids in the middle of a working day. (Oops.)

To complete the experiment, I gave my editor Pui-Wing Tam, the keys to the Hubstaff program, so you could keep track of me. After three weeks, the digital surveillance, the future of work monitoring both seemed to us to be too Intrusive. As you put it, “Ick.”


Adam: I Hubstaff downloaded on my laptop and phone with more than a hint of skepticism. I knew this type of tool is used by Wall Street firms for years, especially in the name of security, with employees, which is rare with any say about it, as you observed.

Dave Nevogt, co-founder and chief executive of Hubstaff, the test me a free trial to their subscription software work-from-home jobs in the Corona-Virus outbreak had made, employee monitoring software, a hot-ticket. Studies Hubstaff software, which costs $7 to $20 per month per user has tripled since March, he said.

“The world is changing,” Mr. Nevogt has said it to me. Workers know that they are being observed, so that it does not violate the privacy, he added.


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A main feature of the Hubstaff an activity monitor gives managers a snapshot of what an employee does. Broken down into 10-minute increments, the system is consistent, what percentage of time the worker was at the time of entry or the computer mouse move. This percentage is used as a productivity score.

I’ve tried to embrace the feedback. Every day a E sent-Mail to me and Pui-Wing with an overview of my day: working hours, the productivity of the guests, and the websites and apps I was using.

This was one of my more productive days, but the software is still out of my deviations. It showed I was on Twitter for 35 minutes, lost 11 minutes surfing Spotify. Slack, the collaboration tool, swallowed 22 minutes. On other days, the dinner was a common distraction, including a 10-minute hunt for take-away pizza.


Adam: Once accustomed to living under observation, which I made the questionable decision that Pui-Wing have access to.

“do you explain to the fire, judge, or blackmail me for what he appears always,” I wrote you in an E-Mail in advance.

Pui-Wing: I was curious, I admit it. But also hesitant because we really want to see someone, minute-by-minute location, or how often he or she uses Twitter?

With these concerns, I opened the program and saw a dashboard. There were various categories, including screenshots, Adam s computer that had been visiting his time-sheets, apps, and URLs he, and his whereabouts.

I moved quickly back to the main dashboard. There, I saw Adam the activity was for the week, a little disappointing 45 percent. Later, he explained that the number, type accurately, his time with work to spend, because it logs only, if he enters, not when he calls or do other work away from his computer. Right.

So he began with Hubstaff. March 31. As soon as he did so, said he, his employees, productivity rose “immediately.”

I could relate to. Hubstaff started on my behavior. Every day, I logged in early, because it was keeping a running watch for my activity. To know that my online actions are checked, did I not open to spend (so much) time reading about sports and rarely-messaging-apps on my laptop, nervous is a screenshot of the catch of a private exchange.

But my activity scores remained stubbornly low, in General, from 30 percent to 45 percent. On April 14, Hubstaff showed that I worked for almost 14 hours, but had a productivity score of 22 percent.


has not, although this was only an experiment, it will make it less embarrassing and Intrusive. And it’s going to be even more trapped, the exercise in the middle of the day. What if other screenshots have exposed sensitive health or financial information?

I trust Pui-Wing, but the monitoring systems have some safeguards to prevent abuse, and rely on the Manager’s judgment and reluctance to exercise.

Pui-Wing: fortunately, I don’t have Adam’s internet exercise. After poking around the Hubstaff metrics, it was not clear that it’s capture, if he’s reporting and talking to sources. It was, therefore, irrelevant — at least how we work.

Also did I mention, it’s yucky to see so much of someone’s information? I didn’t want to sign up again.

Occasionally I looked at the daily E-Mails, the Hubstaff sent by Adam. They showed his productivity score at 30 percent, sometimes edges up to 50 percent. I giggled as I realized that he started to be more time on news sites and how his behavior changed.

Adam: in the end, I found myself in the Hubstaff system try to cheat the overall. As I write this at 11:38 PM on April 24, I am about to get a coffee and spend time with my locked-up kids. But I plan to leave to open a Google Doc on my computer that Hubstaff can make a screenshot to view it, as I was working.

Also if my editor says she is looking for. Just, you know, in case.

Pui-Wing Tam contributed to the reporting (and monitoring) from San Francisco.

Released on Wed, 06 May 2020 09:00:26 +0000

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