Posted October 27, 2021 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: The Dark Side of Remote Work
Remote work has many benefits, but it might have a dark side, too. Find out more, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 318 show:
Welcome—you’re now in The Perna Syndicate! Remote work has so many benefits…flexibility, no commute, better work-life blend, and the list goes on. But there’s also a potential dark side we’re talking about this week: the rise of intensive employee surveillance.
Unfortunately, working from home magnifies both the need for and pitfalls of such surveillance. I can understand why employers (like Amazon) worry about security incidents in uncontrolled environments outside their buildings. But while it’s one thing to be monitored in the office, it becomes downright intrusive in your home.
Before companies jump on the bandwagon of tracking employee activity, they should think about the cost. And I’m not talking about dollars and cents. Engagement, enthusiasm, and loyalty can suffer a sharp downturn when employees discover they’re being watched.
Then, of course, many workers will try to trick or get around the monitoring technology. It becomes a contest between the employer’s systems—and the employee’s ingenuity. Besides being a huge distraction from the actual work, this can also cause serious unintended consequences, like opening up the company to a security breach, or worse.
Some accountability is always necessary at work, but it has to be transparent. Instead of sneaking such technology in, employers need to be transparent with their teams about any type of monitoring tool they use—and why. If the reasons can’t stand up to the light of day, it’s time to change course.
Tomorrow: if trust is what makes remote teams effective, what do you do when trust is broken, on either side? Let’s examine that question on the next episode of The Perna Syndicate. See you then!