Surprisingly high number of homeworkers come under webcam surveillance

A third of workers (32%) say they are monitored when working remotely, a third more than just six months ago (24%), according to a new study.

A new survey from the Prospect union says bosses frequently use webcams in people’s homes to track their employees working remotely, with 13% of homeworkers currently being followed by a web camera, up more than 100% since April ( 5%).

Unsurprisingly, employees aren’t big fans of the practice, with the study finding that four in five (80%) think something should be done about it – whether it’s a complete ban ( 52%) or highly regulated (28%). Only 8% of workers believe their bosses have every right to log into a webcam whenever they want and see what their employees are doing while telecommuting.

Calls for bans and stricter regulations

The survey found that bosses seem particularly interested in keeping tabs on younger workers, with 18- to 34-year-olds experiencing a “significantly higher” monitoring rate compared to their older colleagues.

Overall, almost half (48%) of young workers said they were monitored at work, and a fifth (20%) said they were monitored by cameras.

Prospect says its members are concerned that these intrusive surveillance practices will affect workers in industries with higher levels of remote working, a greater proportion of young workers, and low levels of union membership, such as the tech sector. . He called for a “range of measures” to protect employees, from stricter regulations, to ensure employees are always consulted, to the need for full transparency about how technology is used.

The union also called on the government to ban the use of cameras in people’s homes, unless there is a conference call or video meeting.

At the same time, the UK’s Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) – the country’s data watchdog, has reportedly been looking at advice to employers on how to use new technology – including surveillance.

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