Overly-Invasive Employee Work Tracking

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Here’s a snippet from Out of Office (I’m listening to the audiobook, so this was transcribed using Draft’s new transcribe feature, and touched up by me, so it may be slightly different from the exact text in the book):

After Satariano put Hubstaff on his computer it began taking hundreds of screenshots of the websites he visited, the emails he wrote, plus any other activities, personally private. It then tallied up his time in a detailed report, with each 10 minutes segment of work categorized down to the percentage of time spent typing or moving the mouse. Each day it turned out a productivity score, ranking him on a scale of 0 to 100, and sent it to his manager. But Hubstaff's dashboard didn't really understand the kind of work that Satariano did. Phone calls, a crucial part of the report his job, were not logged as time working by the platform. Neither was reading online, yet another vital component of the job. Hubstaff's monitoring was so focused on a small and rigid set of tasks and skills that were hardly an accurate judge of productivity.

This sounds like a nightmare. I don’t think my employer is tracking me this closely, but this feels like a super low-trust environment if you’re thinking of tracking your employees like this.

P.S. I did finish the book, and this is my micro-review.