Whether you’re working from home or spend most of your time based in-office, your employer is probably monitoring your online activity in some shape or form. And if you’re based in an office, CCTV is also probably in play.
But what about the advent of a more intense form of monitoring that has become more commonplace in the wake of remote or hybrid working models?
Big brother is watching
Some of the most common forms of employee monitoring are actively monitoring websites, keystroke logging, taking regular screenshots remotely and analytics dashboards that show where most time was spent and the productivity around that.
Thanks to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, there are clear boundaries surrounding data collection, particularly around video surveillance, so while your employer is entitled to monitor your work during working hours, organisations must prove that there are lawful grounds for doing so.
The legislation also stipulates that employers cannot use automated monitoring methods like spyware to look through an employee’s browser history, and they are obliged to disclose what kind of tracking software they are using.
While on the one hand, monitoring removes the performative element of appearing to be working to maximum capacity all day long, it can compound feelings of burnout, something many employees have felt since the lines between home and work life have become even more blurred.
A Korn Ferry Study indicated that 89% of professionals say they have experienced burnout in the last two years, and 80% of that group detailed that they’re more burned out now than at the start of the pandemic.
In fact, remote workers work more hours overall than those who are based in an office for part or all of the week, and additional research has found that remote workers clock in an extra 8.7 hours per week on average than their office-based counterparts who average 6.5 extra hours.
So what can you do if you feel like you’re under a microscope of sorts? A good first step to take is to talk to your line manager and establish a set of clear goals or objectives that need to be completed on a weekly basis. Having the agency and flexibility to work to your own timeline can take the sting out of feeling like your every waking work hour is being policed.
That being said, if you feel like you’re being micromanaged and this is impacting on your productivity, output and wellbeing, it could be time to look further afield for an opportunity in a new company. The Silicon Canals Job Board has hundreds of roles in companies that are currently hiring, like the three below.
Scrum Master (f/m/d), Siemens, Erlangen
DI Factory Automation is a startup-minded organisation within Siemens. The Scrum Master will work to empower and coach agile scrum teams to improve value generation and develop the team’s level of self-organisation, ownership, and culture, following agile principles in a fast-paced environment. You will be expected to inspire your colleagues, bringing new insights to the table just as much as you support them in realising theirs. Applicants should have a successfully completed Master’s degree or equivalent, have fluency in English and German and experience in coaching and growing teams. View more details about this role here.
Program Manager, Server Operations Logistics, Google, Frankfurt am Main
As a Program Manager at Google, you’ll lead complex, multi-disciplinary projects from start to finish, working with stakeholders to plan requirements, manage project schedules, identify risks, and communicate clearly with cross-functional partners across the company. Preferred qualifications include a Master’s degree in business or a related field along with a certification in project management or CSCMP. The ideal candidate will also have experience in quality control, inventory accuracy, safety, and security and have the ability to apply structured thinking and logic to the work. See the full job description here.
Senior HR Specialist – German speaking, Autodesk, München
Autodesk makes software tools that help people imagine, design, and make a better world. The Senior HR Specialist is a senior member of the Regional People Services team and is primarily responsible for delivery of all Tier 2 employee life-cycle processes and general HR services for their allocated countries. Day-to-day you’ll assist in local employee communications, support in ensuring payroll inputs accurately, and ensure HR reporting is compliant with country required statutory and regulatory reporting. You’ll need fluency in German, a minimum of five years’ experience in HR operations and solid experience working in a HR operations role. See more details about this opportunity here.