Barclays has been criticised by HR experts and privacy campaigners after the bank installed “Big Brother” employee monitoring software in its London headquarters. From a report:
Introduced as a pilot last week, the technology monitors Barclays workers’ activity on their computers, and in some instances admonishes staff in daily updates to them if they are not deemed to have been active enough – which is described as being in “the zone.” The system tells staff to “avoid breaks” as it monitors their productivity in real-time, and records activities such as toilet visits as “unaccounted activity.” A whistleblower at the banking giant told City A.M. that “the stress this is causing is beyond belief” and that it “shows an utter disregard for employee wellbeing.” “Employees are worried to step away from their desks, have full lunch breaks, take bathroom breaks or even get up for water as we are not aware of the repercussions this might have on our statistics,” they added. Big Brother Watch, a privacy campaign group, described the technology as “creepy.” The software, provided by Sapience, has been rolled out throughout the product control department within the investment bank division at the firm’s Canary Wharf headquarters.
After the publication of the story, Barclays announced it is scrapping the program.