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
(Bloomberg Opinion) — Working from home, once jokingly dismissed as “shirking” from home, is back as a pandemic lifeline for economies amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Europe. Governments in Britain and France, having goaded workers back to the office after lockdown, are now urging them home again. The sound of frustrated bosses gritting their teeth can be heard across the City of London, as big firms from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Citigroup Inc. pause the back-to-work push while keeping the office open.
There’s a sense of whiplash among white-collar workers, who just weeks ago were told that it was time to put the economy first and get back to their cubicles and open-plan desks. There should also be palpable relief. Being able to pull in a salary while safe at home is a privilege hospital staff, care workers and supermarket cashiers can’t