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Big Brother is watching you - at home

Posted by Simon Parke, 30 September 2020, 10.27am

Business is booming at Hubstaff – though you may not be celebrating at home.

They provide monitoring software to employers to help manage staff working from home.

They were originally set-up to keep an eye on freelancers. But post-Covid, with so many forced to work from home, it’s like everyone’s freelance; and Hubstaff, and providers like them, are reaping the benefits.

Though miles away, employees’ behaviour can now be tracked with screenshots, time sheets and records of website visits. (Yes, those sneaky social media jaunts will be noted back at HQ.)

The power of this software is significant. It tells you who’s doing what and for how long on the office computer; Big Brother in everyone’s home, checking up, reporting back.

And this is one way of getting value from your employees.

Another way is number graphics on the office wall. I was recently in a company which set hourly targets for those in the open-plan work space. If these weren’t met, the failure was publicly displayed, hour by hour, on the wall.

Target setting, and the climate of fear created, is another well-established model of motivation.

Different things work for different people, of course. But I have not seen a study which doesn’t suggest that the best form of human motivation is neither accountability nor fear but encouragement - simple human, one-to-one encouragement.

Compared to encouragement, Big Brother accountability and a climate of fear come a very poor second. And another plus - it will also make it easier to retain staff.

So a big ‘Well done!’ to everyone saying ‘Well done!’

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