Working From Home Now Means Letting Corporate Surveillance Into Your Daily Life

The covid pandemic event has inspired a generation of workers with false notions about labor, production and work ethics, to the point that it may be a decade or more before people finally return to reality and stop living in fantasy.  

One prominent issue, of course, is the anti-work movement, which essentially believes that no-skill work should be paid a living wage or that such workers should be supplemented by government welfare.  This is the beginning of Universal Basic Income (UBI), which means millions of people dependent on government fiat and maintaining this relationship would become a matter of survival.  You can't rebel against a corrupt government when you depend on them to feed you and your family.  

The covid stimulus checks acclimated the public to the taste of UBI (not to mention the rent moratoriums) and many of them now have an addiction to living for free.  Large numbers of Americans and Europeans think that this is the way it should be forever, but nothing is for free, kids.  There's always a cost and a consequence.  

Another issue is the rise of the “work from home movement.” Certainly, there are many technology jobs, media jobs and data analysis jobs that can be accomplished from home and are perhaps better done outside of an office than inside of one.  The advantages are substantial, with reduced traffic in major population centers, psychological relief from the often stifling office environment and potentially improved work output.  Businesses pay for less office space and less supplies also.  It seems like a win-win.

However, there is an agenda afoot which seeks to exploit the work-from-home dynamic and pervert it into something ugly.  And, it is rooted in a growing trend of corporate surveillance of employees in their own houses

Eight out of ten the largest employers in the US already track productivity metrics at the workplace.  This means monitoring software on work computers, surveillance cameras, facial recognition, mood recognition, keystroke records, and even cell phone tracking apps with GPS records.  The argument in favor of this kind of Orwellian all-seeing eye is: “You don't have to work here if you don't want to – you can always quit.”  

This is a cop-out response that is designed to circumvent any discussion on the unethical nature of employee monitoring to such an extreme level.  People are being paid, but at the same time they are being treated like property – they are being treated like slaves with no privacy.   And what if every single employer uses employee surveillance?  What if there are no options?  You can quit, but will you be able to find a work environment that doesn't treat you like this?

This kind of pervasive intrusion is exactly what the work-from-home movement is inviting into their daily lives, as more and more companies are now demanding that employees allow technological surveillance onto the home computers, cell phones and even allow corporations to insert video surveillance into worker houses.

Working From Home Now Means Letting Corporate Surveillance Into Your Daily Life

A research paper recently published by the SAGE Journal of Management suggests that employee monitoring does not lead to more productivity; rather, it leads to the opposite.  Participants in worker experiments were found to be less productive and more likely to break the rules if they knew they were being watched.  The paper asserts that surveillance takes away the sense of personal responsibility that workers require to be involved in their jobs.    

One could argue that the drop in productivity in the experiments is because the threat of real consequences was not present.  There is some legitimacy to this.

In a world where anyone can now be fired from their job and lose their livelihood for an offhand remark on social media, what would happen if the same kind of consequences extended to discussions in our homes?  What if work surveillance wasn't just about “productivity,” but also about controlling behavior and ideals of employees?  This is exactly where we are heading; a future where what you say in the comfort of your own living room is dissected and examined for “wrong thinking.”  And what is “wrong thinking?”  It's whatever the people in power say it is.  A person criticizing the very nature of corporate surveillance could one day be fired for “wrong think.”     

There are choices, the more obvious being self-employment and starting your own business.  But as the economy continues to decline starting your own business will be increasingly difficult.  One could simply go off-grid completely and try to produce necessities for themselves, and this is really what we need rather than a work-from-home movement, but it will take large communities of people all going off grid to make much of a difference.  

Ultimately, the entire basis for worker surveillance is built on a fallacy.  Most jobs that can be accomplished at home are not paid by the hour.  Busywork is not the same as productivity.  If an employee is doing their work the boss will know it because that employee will turn in finished work.  Companies don't need to monitor employees, they only need to monitor RESULTS.  If a worker is solid, they'll have great results and an extensive catalog of finished projects.  If a worker is lazy, then they'll have no results to show.  It's really that simple.  

So why the massive invasion of privacy?  Maybe it's not about productivity at all.  Maybe it's about acclimating the public through their jobs to being watched 24/7, and accepting that this is the new normal. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Advertisement

Advertisement

نموذج الاتصال