Barclays Bank is facing a backlash from employees after installing productivity spyware on staff computers that admonishes individuals if they're not deemed to be working hard enough.
Installed as a pilot at the product control department within Barclays' investment bank division, the Sapience-supplied Big Brother-style software records employee activity in real-time, compiling daily reports on staff productivity.
A “work yoga” assessment sent to a Barclays employee earlier this week, seen by City AM, warned the staffer of “not enough time in the Zone yesterday!”
It added: “Tips: mute the phone, disable email/chat pop-ups, avoid breaks for 20+ minutes, 2-3 times a day.”
A whistleblower at the banking giant told City AM that “the stress this is causing is beyond belief” and that it “shows an utter disregard for employee wellbeing”.
“Employees are worried to step away from their desks, have full lunch breaks, take bathroom breaks or even get up for water as we are not aware of the repercussions this might have on our statistics.” the anonymous source added.
A spokesperson for Barclays confirmed it had introduced the monitoring software, and said: “This type of technology is widely used across the industry to help identify what is working well and opportunities to improve processes. Colleague wellbeing is of paramount importance and colleagues are free to take breaks whenever they choose.”