Companies in the United States are exploring employee simulations in remote work

Washington. Wells Fargo Bank recently fired ten of its US employees for “simulating activity on a computer keyboard,” an example of how some productivity-obsessed companies are willing to spot pitfalls in the age of remote work.

Some companies are even pursuing technologies that make it possible to simulate work in progress and use sophisticated measurement tools to do so. Tableware also Programming Of wakefulness.

These tools, which have been in high demand since the pandemic, are installed on company computers and control employee productivity, by monitoring their workplace, keyboard activity, or even through GPS location.

A Florida-based marketing company installed software on its computers that takes screenshots every 10 minutes to monitor its workers' activity, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Some employees, seeking to avoid these alarming devices, resort to other tools that mimic mouse movement and prevent the computer from waking up. The goal is to appear active in the eyes of their bosses, even if they are involved in matters unrelated to their work.

Tutorials on TikTok or YouTube teach you how to appear artificially active, thanks to, for example, useful fake PowerPoint presentations “when you need to take a nap”.

Another guide frequently shared in these tutorials is to open a typing program and place an object that presses a key. The page is filled with the same letter thousands of times, but the employee seems active.

However, the most popular tool is one that allows you to move the mouse and which can be purchased for a few tens of dollars.

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“Press the button when you get up from the desk and the cursor will move randomly across the screen, for hours if necessary,” one user enthused in a review about the product on Amazon.

The risk of discovery is high anyway. In a post on the social media site Reddit, an employee says he was fired when his coordinator discovered he was using a computer mouse movement simulator.

Knowing that he used A Programming To simulate this movement, some Internet users in the comments suggest relying on a physical object that moves the mouse and is “undetectable.”

Some HR professionals argue that this cat-and-mouse game has caused “productivity milestones” to multiply, leading the employee to theatrically fake their activity.

In a poll reported by a newspaper Harvard Business Reviewsome companies highlight that secretly monitoring their employees can be a serious setback for employers.

The magazine states: “We have found that employees subject to monitoring are more likely to take breaks without consultation, damage property in the office, steal materials and work deliberately slowly” compared to those who are not subject to this type of practice.

AJ Mises, director of a labor consulting firm, believes that the use of activity simulators indicates a “work culture that focuses on performance indicators much more than on constructive productivity and human relations.”

“Instead of stimulating innovation and trust, this surveillance approach will only push employees to find new ways to appear busy,” this executive told AFP, criticizing the “worrying trend towards excessive surveillance.”

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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