There is no tone-deafness going on; they know exactly what it means and what they want, and how to sell it down the chain. Think of it this way, every time management tells you that there's no raise because of budget reasons, are you really going to take that at face value?
Business is business, and we are workers. If we want serious change, it's no use complaining about this... they'll do whatever anyways. We should engaging in politics, out on the streets kind of stuff.
I've believed this exactly once. When upper management also received no bonuses that year.
I'not sure open offices are so unpopular in practice.
I suspect a handful of people with misophonia are passionately against them. A sizable minority think they makes work more fun, and the remainder are indifferent.
As someone who loathes them myself, I read all kinds of articles about how awful they are. But that's how news works: I'm a likely click for any article that vindicates my hatred of my stupid boss. So while I've seen plenty of surveys showing people complaining about it, I'm doubtful I'm seeing the same data management is.
I've simply never seen anyone really protest it. It's a small sample, but if I've worked with a hundred people, that predicts the real value is small. I even had a team that actively wanted management to remove the dividers when we had half-cubes, and I was the lone holdout!
Some of the studies: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/business...
Now, imagine you are measuring the collaboration by the amount of meetings and chats/email. Of course these increase if we can no longer chat in your office! Now I have to book time or send you a slack/chat/whatever because having a conversation now requires finding that private space.
So previously unmeasured collaboration is replaced with lower fidelity, but measurable collaboration.
From what I've seen people who work in open offices try to find ways to work somewhere quieter when possible.
If open offices are worth it entirely depends on if saving on rent or having more productive employees is more worth it. Generally I see a trend towards open office + shared semiprivate spaces. Like meeting rooms or phone booth like cubicles with doors.
People? Human resources.
You know, things you use up and discard, like any resource.
Oddly enough, though it sounds more pejorative than "personnel" to me, "human resources" was thought to be positive as a resource is valuable.
And, in fairness, while your manager typically makes the call to fire you, HR are the ones who swing the axe, so no name changes can make them warm and cuddly.
Indeed, and that's precisely what most probably didn't need or want.
Because butts in chairs and fingers smushing keys is what's important.
How disconnected from reality do you need to be to think surveillance and converting to an open office is going to somehow increase retention of employees?
And a surprising number of people who haven't had to work in open offices before think "Oh, that'll be cool: social, innovative, and collaborative!"
Sometimes, Hanlon's razor works in reverse: don't attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by m̵a̵l̵i̵c̵e̵ marketing.
Vote with your feet if the surveillance starts feeling creepy. I think people sign up to do a job, not be a guinea pig in some sort dystopian Skinner box. There should be limits on what personal information is collected.
As a former McKesson employee, i'd say you found the issue.
What makes you think they even want this kind of understanding? Not to mention the handwavey vagueness of "understanding people."
LOL, way to be super creepy AND learn exactly the wrong lesson from this.
I can't imagine why they're having problems with "higher turnover".
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Back before we had computers, there was nothing stopping a company from opening every memo that came through the mail room and recording every phone conversation and opening your file cabinets when you weren't there. The diffence was it was a lot more work for them to do those things, so it never really came up. Now it's super easy for a company to process every single thing you do or say, even including recording audio in the workplace.
So maybe it's time for us to look for some legal protections for worker privacy?
There are some protections against recording people without their knowledge, even if you're in a workplace.
> So maybe it's time for us to look for some legal protections for worker privacy?
And documenting the (limited) protections that already exist.
So, bury the required notice inside the legalese of all that paperwork everyone has to sign when they get hired. They signed, so they know about it, right?
I hope I'm misunderstanding this, because I read it as saying they can open your mail...which I thought was a felony taken very seriously.
If someone sent a letter to me, but they accidentally put your address on it, you would be committing a felony against me if you opened the letter, even though it was delivered to your address.
You would know it wasn't your letter to open by the fact that someone else's name was on it.
Your employer can forbid you from using your work address to receive deliveries (even sending UPS and FedEx packages back when they aren't addressed to the company - or penalizing you for requesting shipments to the company address).
But if they ever interfere with a USPS delivery, or confiscate or destroy and UPS or FedEx delivery, they would be committing mail fraud.
If you are legally employed for a company, and someone sends you a letter via USPS to you business address, and someone at your company interferes with the delivery of that letter to you in any way, they are committing a felony. Doubly so if they open the letter to see what's inside.
Are you saying they are required to accept your mail, and any company policy forbidding this is loosely connected with committing a felony?
If you work at an address, and someone tries to contact you via the mail at that address, and they put your work address and name on the envelope, then there is a legal obligation that you receive the letter, or the post office be informed that you are unreachable at that address so they can return to sender.
If your company receives a piece of mail with your name on it, and they prevent its safe delivery to you or safe return to the sender, then they have committed a felony against you.
It is a serious crime to interfere with the delivery of the mail.
Even just opening your neighbor's mailbox to give them a note is TWO felonies.
One felony for invasion of privacy from opening a mailbox that wasn't assigned to your address or an address you are authorized to collect mail for.
One felony for bypassing the USPS system and defrauding them out of postage by using mailboxes for private parcel delivery.
Do. Not. Fuck. With. The. Mail.
And if they do include it in the employee agreement like you suggest, it wouldn't be too difficult to create a PR headache for them by alerting the media.
It wasn't a terrible idea if just developers used it personally, but the moment an employer starts using it, it would end up heading toward major creepsville to the point I'd refuse to work for an employer who mandated it.
It is scary at times; we try to do so many things with data without actually thinking about the consequences of doing so until someone starts doing stuff we're uncomfortable with with it.
I'm careful pointing out this type of thing to people, as I'm really not trying to rain on anyone's parade... But there's a reason Frankenstein's Monster is such an evocative figure. The endeavors we pursue may be our Magnum Opus, but the consequences of just throwing the results out there is worth substantial contemplation before just tossing it out there. You can never take it back.
No, they don't.
Not a single company I know of built their systems to increase retention. No matter what they claim, HR doesn’t really care about that - they care about bad apples. It’s for insider threat detection and mitigation. Fire the trouble makers, keep the people who do work by the system metrics. The problem is that the system metrics don’t reflect what employers look for (skill sets, influence, etc) that’s why I started my business — to focus on skill sets and knowledge retention.
In any case, is this a bad thing? I don’t know.
It’s a fine line companies that build mass surveillance tread. HR and management typically fully trust the system numbers. Meaning, the amount you spend on email becomes a promotable/fireable metric... what if you just email efficiently or you use email ineffectively, the system may not pick that up.
Most of these surveillance companies are unscrupulous and the management of the companies they sell to fall into the point system trap. There’s also no getting away from it. Every large company has, or will have these systems. So, the best thing you can do (and the difference with my company) is you make it clear to employees and try to provide benefits in some way. Our company uses as chat bot and provides a search engine. Most companies provide nothing to the employees, just monitor and fire them.
If the benefit of catching a bad apple is less than the downside of 100+ pissed employees due to being spied on, it is a bad thing, specially when a few KPI can't give you an accurate view of an employee's performance or impact.
sure, you won't get to senior VP but you can use that other 80% for ... self improvement.
I was just stating that at the moment, at my tier, I am unable to see private messages.
On a per channel basis you can see members who posted, members who viewed, changes in members who posted, reactions added, members who reacted, # messages posted, total membership count.
Those are what I've found just poking around. I dont really check the analytics of our workspace so I may be missing some. It doesn't look like there is a super-easy way to look up the last time a specific member was online - but there very well could be depending on the plan. Or I could be missing where I look it up.
Perhaps to rephrase the question. I hear a lot of privacy concerns about something like Facebook that knows too much about you and calculates all sorts of things. I agree with those concerns. Are people equally concerned if a metadata analysis reveals that individuals who communicate with a wider network of other employees tend to do better or worse, or quit or whatever- and you are an anonymized part of the individuals that led to that conclusion?
Sure, that's going to help with retention.
This seems super helpful as an employer.
Fuck everything about putting percentages without false positives and false negatives.
And the caption:
Diana Hubbard, working from her home office in Texas, says she does not communicate about her private life on work devices at all. PHOTO: JONATHAN ZIZZO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
It works nicely for me.
Another good question is who uses an overpriced "gamer" keyboard for work?
My old company ended up standardizing on Fnatic keyboards because they were the cheapest way to get silent Cherry switches with a reasonable layout.
I also used a gaming MSI laptop, because it was cheaper to buy and upgrade that than to buy a reasonable business Dell. ThinkPads weren't much better eiter (but also not an option anyway, thanks to Superfish and co).
I think most Software Engineers don't have to worry as much about the spying, as we have full control over our system.
Corporate users, with locked down machines, however, should be wary.
The US will learn, as will the UK and Australia.
Also, complaints about paywalls are off topic, so please don't post them: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10178989. Yes, the situation sucks, but every one of these subthreads is the same. Readers don't come here for tedious repetition, but to avoid it.
The reason we don't disallow all paywalls, but only the ones that have no workaround, is that HN would be much worse off without stories from the NYT, WSJ, Economist, New Yorker, and many others. https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20paywalls&sort=byDate...
In that case you could simply have asked for it.
I'm a moderator here, so it's my job to make sure the community follows the site guidelines. That includes not posting personal attacks, which you just did again. If you keep doing that we're going to have to ban you. Would you please read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use this site as intended?