Barclays pulls plug on Big Brother

Barclays pulls plug on Big Brother

Barclays Bank has scrapped a personnel monitoring system that chided staff for taking time out from their desks, after suffering a rash of complaints from employees and privacy groups.

First revealed to City AM by an inhouse whistleblower, 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 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.”

The anonymous source at the banking giant told the paper that “the stress this is causing is beyond belief” and that it “shows an utter disregard for employee wellbeing”.

Faced with a wave of negative feedback and criticism from privacy advocates, Barclays has decided to pull the plug on system

In a statement, the bank says: "We always intended to listen to colleague feedback as part of this limited pilot which was intended to tackle issues such as individual over-working as well as raise general productivity."

This is not the first time that Barclays has attempted to boost productivity by spying on staff. A previous attempt in 2017 which used heat sensing technology to monitor how much time staff spent at their desks was also withdrawn following fierce criticism.

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