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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013

How you're being tracked at work

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Forget about NSA spying. The new Big Brother spying on you is your employer, particularly if you're a blue-collar worker!

I told you recently how in Amazon's warehouses, a lot of employees are being tracked every second they move. You are judged and maybe dismissed, promoted, demoted, or whatever because of the electronic leash.

It's the same thing with truckers being tracked everywhere they go, and on everything they do. Even smaller businesses like pest control companies are using GPS and mobile tracking to know where every employee is at every single moment of the day, according to The Wall Street Journal.

My advice to you as an employee is assume you are being watched. This has long been true for office workers, but it's now migrating to the blue-collar world. Are you doing anything that could get you canned?

For employers, tell your employees you're using this tracking technology. You will improve employee behavior just by telling them. And then it's not about being a gotcha.

A colleague who works in TV station across the country tells me their employer tracks every live truck. If they know someone is speeding, or not in place for their next live shot for TV, they immediately send a text reproach about the speed, or where they are, or where they're not.

These technologies are being sold to employers as productivity tools. Some people will say, well, you've got to do this, especially with people in the field. Otherwise, how do you know you're getting your money's worth out of employees? How do you know they're not driving recklessly?

There's a dividing line here that goes to the heart of why people get outraged. Because if you are not trusted by your employer, you become alienated. They don't trust you, you don't trust them. Treating you as unit of production makes you feel undermined and unloved.

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