Employer warning: “Jigglers” are out there and it kinda serves you right
I was researching a new Purple Paper on governance standards during Covid-19 when Ryan, our Head of Marketing, sent me a link to a “Port Mouse Jiggler”. Now I must confess I thought the young man may have inadvertently sent me a link to some adult entertainment site!
But no, he genuinely sent me material for the paper. You see, in my research I came across countless firms who were thinking of deploying, or who have already deployed, “spy-ware” onto their systems to track employees working from home (WFH). Some applications measure employee mouse movement and can “prompt” employees to respond when the mouse appears inactive or escalate to a supervisor.
It turns out that some employees find this just too intrusive and the smart, curious ones have already found a workaround (one supplier has sold 2000 already). Yes, you got it: a “Port Mouse Jiggler”.
So employees, if your employer distrusts you so much they have to deploy software to spy on you, why not spend a spare 30 seconds searching for “Mouse Jiggler” on Amazon and see how many products are out there already!
I concluded that tracking mouse movement of an employee had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with improving governance and employee compliance in a WFH scenario for a regulated firm. It just appeared to be inappropriate level of intrusion that certainly must erode employee satisfaction, remove all discretional effort, and hamper any sort of productivity recovery.
For those employers seeking to recover employee productivity lost to Covid-19 & WFH, perhaps the answer isn’t taking a metaphorical stick to the employee base?
Rather, we think you would be better served deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) like Clever Nelly – www.elephantsdontforget.com – who collaborates with your employees and helps them excel in their role and delivers proven and sustained productivity improvements and fosters discretional effort. (It also serves to improve governance and employee compliance).
Alternatively, upgrade your spyware so that it can spot when “Jigglers” are being used and wait for your brightest and most curious employees to spend all their discretional effort finding the next work around!
Elephants Don’t Forget
At the beginning of the pandemic, we released a popular Purple Paper called “Working From Home Undoubtedly Creates Risk & Competency Challenges”.
In the paper, we challenged firms to revisit their governance practices in Training & Competency and review the particular negative and disturbing changes to individual employees’ risk-taking and rule-breaking — a phenomenon not restricted to junior employees but equally applicable to Senior Managers & Certified staff.