Working Conversations Episode 76:
Productivity Monitoring – Good or Bad for Business?
Is your organization monitoring your productivity? Do you even know?
Productivity monitoring has seeped from blue-collar work into office work.
It’s no wonder that your boss knows what website you’ve visited, how long you’ve spent on a task, and how many times per minute your mouse moved.
It’s called digital productivity monitoring. This is the moment-by-moment tracking of your keystrokes, mouse movements, phone calls, and Teams or Zoom meetings.
When digital productivity is monitored, anything you do is tracked, monitored, and recorded. This process of tracking how employees spend every minute of the day has become common practice.
However, these systems can’t tell if you are helping a colleague with an important task or getting some useful coaching from your manager.
And if you’re like me, you’ve probably had moments where you do your best strategic work beyond your working hours or when you’re not in front of your computer. I admit I get the best ideas when I am walking my dog, staring out a window, swimming laps, or on a long drive.
While these digital productivity monitoring systems were around long before the pandemic, they have become much more ubiquitous in the age of WFH and WFA.
And it is cause for concern, especially when used to determine pay, chances for advancement, and other career and financial opportunities.
In this episode, join me as I explore the rise of productivity tracking from over a century ago, rooted in Fredrick Winslow Taylor’s theory of scientific management, to today’s insidious tracking of every movement, often without employees’ knowledge or consent.
Listen and catch the full episode here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Discuss this topic and ask your colleagues about their ideas of whether productivity monitoring is good or bad for the employees and the business.
And if you’ve found this episode helpful, spread the word! Share this podcast episode with a friend or your organization if you think they need to hear this. Don’t forget to leave a review and 5-star rating, it would mean the world to me.
HERE’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DIG INTO IN THIS EPISODE:
1. What is digital productivity monitoring?
2. The Fredrick Winslow Taylor’s theory of scientific management.
3. What is the intent behind digital productivity monitoring?
4. Is Productivity Monitoring good or bad for your business?
LINK RELATED TO THIS EPISODE:
The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score (New York Times)