Home News WorkSmart, A Productivity Tool that takes Pictures of Employees every 10 Minutes to know whether they are working or not

WorkSmart, A Productivity Tool that takes Pictures of Employees every 10 Minutes to know whether they are working or not

by Harikrishna Mekala

The shots are taken by Crossover’s productivity tool, WorkSmart, and join with screenshots of their workstations along with additional data including app use and keystrokes to grow up with a “focus score” and an “intensity score” that can be practiced to assess the rate of freelancers.

Today’s workplace monitoring software is a digital panopticon that started with email and phone monitoring but now adds keeping track of web-browsing patterns, text notes, screenshots, keystrokes, social media posts, private messaging apps like WhatsApp and even face-to-face communications with co-workers.

“If you are a mother and you have an adolescent son or daughter coming home late and not doing their study you might wonder what they are doing. It’s the equivalent of employees,” said Brad Miller, CEO of Awareness Technologies, which sells a combination of employee monitoring tools under the brand Interguard.

Crossover’s Sanjeev Patni contends that workers get over the initial self-knowledge after a few days and accept the need for such monitoring as people do CCTV in shopping malls.

“The answer is ‘OK, I’m being watched, but if the company is paying for my time how does it mean if it’s recording what I’m doing? It’s only for my progress,’” he said.

Such “betterment” obviously isn’t necessary for managers: they can pick and decide when to turn their cameras on.

The majority of monitoring tech providers focus their offerings on the financial sector, where businesses are legally required to track staff contacts to prevent insider trading. But they are increasingly marketing their tech to a broader range of companies to control staff productivity, data leaks, and Human Resources violations, like sexual harassment and improper behavior.

Wiretap practices in monitoring workplace chat forums such as Facebook Workplace, Slack, and Yammer to identify, amongst other issues, “intentional and accidental harassment, threats, intimidation”.

Last year an assistant at an IT services company sent a private chat message to a buddy at work worried that he had just given his sexual identity with his supervisor in a meeting and fearing he’d face career revenge. Wiretap detected the employee’s solicitude and alerted a senior company exec who was then capable to intervene, talk to the supervisor and defuse the situation.

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