NYT story on the rise of productivity tracking software

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The Ex-Factor:
If there's a story that'll turn you into a leftist raging at the dehumanizing nature of capitalism this is the one:


Ms. Kraemer, the finance executive, thought she had seen it all. Years after working at Enron, the energy giant turned business blowup, she and former colleagues still held reunions to commemorate what they had been through. But she had never encountered anything like the practices of ESW Capital, a Texas-based group of business software companies.

She and her co-workers could turn off their trackers and take breaks anytime, as long as they hit 40 hours a week, which the company logged in 10-minute chunks. During each of those intervals, at some moment they could never anticipate, cameras snapped shots of their faces and screens, creating timecards to verify whether they were working. Some bosses allowed a few “bad” timecards — showing interruptions, or no digital activity — according to interviews with two dozen current and former employees. Beyond that, any snapshot in which they had paused or momentarily stepped away could cost them 10 minutes of pay. Sometimes those cards were rejected; sometimes the workers, knowing the rules, didn’t submit them at all.

Hospice chaplains are not immune either:


Rev. Margo Richardson of Minneapolis became a hospice chaplain to help patients wrestle with deep, searching questions. “This is the big test for everyone: How am I going to face my own death?” she said.

 But two years ago, her employer started requiring chaplains to accrue more of what it called “productivity points.” A visit to the dying: as little as one point. Participating in a funeral: one and three-quarters points. A phone call to grieving relatives: one-quarter point.

And of course there's that one brown-noser in there who is totally on board with employer monitoring:


Sara Cooksey
Operations Associate

Ms. Cooksey craves greater tracking, she said, because she suspects that a colleague on her team is doing far less than she is. “There’s no accountability when we’re working from home,” she said.

Of course, there is discussion in the article that this sort of thing has been happening at places like Amazon for years, but now it is striking white-collar workers as well. Have any of you worked at a company that does this kind of thing?


Sounds very 996-esque

Baumol's cost disease is merciless.


The tracking software makes some sense if you’re paid hourly. Less so if for salaried workers.

Your False god Won't Save You:
If a person's productivity can't be measured simply by looking at their accomplishments and whatever work they submit throughout the day/week then their job is likely an unnecessary, fake role. There are many of those in the corporate world.


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