They use a smart tool to simulate activity on their computers

It can be tempting to take it easy when you're working remotely. Especially since today there are tools that allow you to simulate an activity on a computer. This is the trick used by employees of a large bank.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, remote work has been on the rise in companies, much to the delight of employees. This allows you to save valuable time wasted on transportation, sleep a little longer in the morning, work in an environment where you feel comfortable, be able to organize your time more freely, and be able to work on the go. Yes, but some people abuse the freedom given to them a little too much…

This is what happened at the American bank Wells Fargo, which fired ten employees accused of deceiving their managers and making them believe that they were working when this was not the case.

We don't necessarily think about it, but employers can monitor remote workers using tools like email or web browsing monitoring software, or even video surveillance systems, webcams equipped with eye-tracking technologies, or software that records keystrokes or mouse movements. Wells Fargo had such arrangements.

But the procrastinators used a device that simulates the use of a keyboard or mouse, which shows that there is actually activity, even when those concerned are not working. These devices often take the form of small USB keys or software that is installed on the computer. They are called “mouse jigglers” (“mouse shakers” in good French). It allows, as its name suggests, to make the mouse move randomly, thus pretending to be present and active in front of the screen. You can easily find them on e-commerce sites for around ten euros. They have seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

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Please note that in France, through its administrative authority, the employer has the right to monitor and control the activity of employees during working time, provided that their fundamental rights and individual freedoms are respected. Therefore, he is obliged to inform them if he creates systems of this type and to seek to respect their privacy as much as possible. No information relating to an employee personally can be collected by a device to which it has not previously been brought to his attention. According to a study dating back to 2021, 63% of French companies with more than 500 employees are planning or have already adopted tools of this type in order to enhance control over their employees in the event of remote work. So beware!

Samantha Arnold

<p class="sign">"Web fanatic. Travel scholar. Certified music evangelist. Coffee expert. Unapologetic internet guru. Beer nerd."</p>

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