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Shirking from home? Staff feel the heat as bosses ramp up remote surveillance



a person standing in front of a laptop: Photograph: borchee/Getty Images


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Photograph: borchee/Getty Images

For many, one of the silver linings of lockdown was the shift to remote working: a chance to avoid the crushing commute, supermarket meal deals and an overbearing boss breathing down your neck.

But as the Covid crisis continues, and more and more employers postpone or cancel plans for a return to the office, some managers are deploying increasing levels of surveillance in an attempt to recreate the oversight of the office at home.

“It has really ramped up,” says Dr Claudia Pagliari, a researcher into digital health and society at the University of Edinburgh. “People are home working, and many organisations are beginning to want to track what they’re doing.”

Such surveillance comes in many forms. “Some of it is as simple as ‘checking in’,” Pagliari says, “stamping your timecard in a digital sense. You might have to do your work

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