Escape from the house? Staff feel the heat as bosses step up remote monitoring | World news

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For many, one of the lockdown’s silver liners was the shift to remote work: a chance to avoid the overwhelming commute, supermarket meal deals, and a bossy boss who blows your neck out.But as the Covid crisis continues and more employers postpone or cancel plans to return to the office, some managers are deploying increasing levels of oversight in an attempt to recreate home office oversight.

“It really accelerated,” says Dr Claudia Pagliari, researcher on digital health and society at the University of Edinburgh. “People are working from home and a lot of organizations are starting to want to track what they’re doing.”

Such surveillance takes many forms. “Some of them are as simple as ‘checking in’,” Pagliari says, “stamping your timesheet in a digital sense. You might have to do your work in the cloud, and it knows when you’ve signed in, for example. Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams report when an employee is “active,” and not opening apps early in the morning is often viewed by managers as being late for work.

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