Articles

What’s Your Opinion on Tracking Employee Activity with AI?

Gary Voigt
September 14, 2022

What’s Your Opinion on Tracking Employee Activity with AI?

We were listening to a podcast that talked about a high-level female executive recently hired at a company at a salary of $200,000.

When she received her paycheck, it was lower than she was expecting, but she didn’t understand why.

When she investigated, she found out that the company was monitoring her work activities.

But wait…it gets even more interesting.

They were using AI technology to take a screenshots of her computer screen every 10 minutes. An AI machine-learning technology would decide whether she was doing productive work. If it determined she wasn’t, she was docked for that 10 minute period of time on her pay.

And, for whatever reason, this high level executive was totally unaware that this was occurring.

Is your blood boiling yet? Or are you as cool as a cucumber?

In the same podcast, we talked about another organization that, post-COVID, wanted their employees to return to work. However, their employees wanted to continue working from home. So, the organization proposed working from home two days a week in exchange for allowing their work activities to be monitored all five days of the week. 

What are your thoughts?

Should organizations be able to monitor employees’ activities and dock them when a machine determines they aren’t working?

Dave’s Thoughts: “I’ll go on record saying I think that’s horrible.” 

If you want to kill your remote culture fast, then monitor your team’s activities during work hours.

When you convey that you don’t trust your employees, you decimate any chance you had of building a culture of trust in your business.

Flaws With This Approach

Some jobs, like an executive-level job, don’t require the employee to be on a computer for long periods of time. So, how can their work activities be fairly or accurately monitored using AI that takes a screenshot of a computer screen? What about their non-computer activities, such as attending meetings and phone calls? 

Or what about those jobs that require someone to be creatively thinking to problem solve? Some of them prefer to work on paper rather than a computer. How is it possible to capture that method of working?

Or others where they expend a lot of mental energy to work out solutions to problems? It’s unreasonable to expect them to be on their computer for a full workday, especially when some of their best ideas and solutions can occur when they’re away from their computer. This high expectation of having to be on their computer for 8 hours will quickly lead to burn out.

Isn’t an Employee’s Quality of Work and Their Output Enough? 

In most cases, as a business owner, you get a pretty good idea of who’s engaged in their work and who isn’t. 

When you’re paying attention, no AI machine-learning technology is needed to give you that kind of information.

But as a business owner, you’ll need to decide if tracking employee’s work activities is in alignment with, not only your core values, but also your business’s core values.

Choose wisely, my friend.

Based on an excerpt from our BIZ/DEV podcast, Episode 50.

Biz
Culture
Gary Voigt
September 14, 2022
Podcasts

What’s Your Opinion on Tracking Employee Activity with AI?

Gary Voigt
September 14, 2022

What’s Your Opinion on Tracking Employee Activity with AI?

We were listening to a podcast that talked about a high-level female executive recently hired at a company at a salary of $200,000.

When she received her paycheck, it was lower than she was expecting, but she didn’t understand why.

When she investigated, she found out that the company was monitoring her work activities.

But wait…it gets even more interesting.

They were using AI technology to take a screenshots of her computer screen every 10 minutes. An AI machine-learning technology would decide whether she was doing productive work. If it determined she wasn’t, she was docked for that 10 minute period of time on her pay.

And, for whatever reason, this high level executive was totally unaware that this was occurring.

Is your blood boiling yet? Or are you as cool as a cucumber?

In the same podcast, we talked about another organization that, post-COVID, wanted their employees to return to work. However, their employees wanted to continue working from home. So, the organization proposed working from home two days a week in exchange for allowing their work activities to be monitored all five days of the week. 

What are your thoughts?

Should organizations be able to monitor employees’ activities and dock them when a machine determines they aren’t working?

Dave’s Thoughts: “I’ll go on record saying I think that’s horrible.” 

If you want to kill your remote culture fast, then monitor your team’s activities during work hours.

When you convey that you don’t trust your employees, you decimate any chance you had of building a culture of trust in your business.

Flaws With This Approach

Some jobs, like an executive-level job, don’t require the employee to be on a computer for long periods of time. So, how can their work activities be fairly or accurately monitored using AI that takes a screenshot of a computer screen? What about their non-computer activities, such as attending meetings and phone calls? 

Or what about those jobs that require someone to be creatively thinking to problem solve? Some of them prefer to work on paper rather than a computer. How is it possible to capture that method of working?

Or others where they expend a lot of mental energy to work out solutions to problems? It’s unreasonable to expect them to be on their computer for a full workday, especially when some of their best ideas and solutions can occur when they’re away from their computer. This high expectation of having to be on their computer for 8 hours will quickly lead to burn out.

Isn’t an Employee’s Quality of Work and Their Output Enough? 

In most cases, as a business owner, you get a pretty good idea of who’s engaged in their work and who isn’t. 

When you’re paying attention, no AI machine-learning technology is needed to give you that kind of information.

But as a business owner, you’ll need to decide if tracking employee’s work activities is in alignment with, not only your core values, but also your business’s core values.

Choose wisely, my friend.

Based on an excerpt from our BIZ/DEV podcast, Episode 50.

What’s Your Opinion on Tracking Employee Activity with AI?

Have you heard about that high-level female executive being tracked by AI at work?

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