Did you ever play I spy when you were a kid? Well, now some bosses are playing it! Their go-to prompt: “I spy with my little eye… someone who is… slacking.”
Driving the news: As workers continue to hang on to their work-from-home arrangements for dear life, employers are turning to tracking software (aka bossware or tattleware) to ensure workers aren’t just napping or doing laundry during the day.
- One survey found 35% of Canadians work for an employer using tracking tools, and a Gartner study projects that 70% of large employers will be using them by 2025.
- TimeCamp, one such software, saw requests for demos almost double after helping nail a BC accountant for wage theft (she was ordered to repay her ex-employer).
In Canada: Laws surrounding employee tracking software are still in the works. This past October, Ontario became the first province to legally require workplaces with 25 or more employees to tell their workers if they are being electronically monitored.
Why it matters: It’s a sign of growing tension between workers and bosses amid the work-from-home shift. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index found 85% of leaders feel WFH makes it difficult to trust their employees’ productivity—a feeling known as “productivity paranoia.”
- Lack of trust might feed into the lack of productivity. Research suggests the less trusted employees feel, the lower their desire to do their job.
- Another study even found that employees who know they’re being monitored start to work painfully slowly out of sheer spite.
Zoom out: Given this paranoia, it’s no surprise that WFH job listings are disappearing faster than a rabbit in a magician's hat as more employers demand a full-on return to the office.