Y.T.'s mom pulls up the new memo, checks the time, and starts reading it. The estimated reading time is 15.62 minutes. Later, when Marietta does her end-of-day statistical roundup, sitting in her private office at 9:00 P.M., she will see the name of each employee and next to it, the amount of time spent reading this memo...
Y.T.'s mom decides to spend between fourteen and fifteen minutes reading the memo. It's better for younger workers to spend too long, to show that they're careful, not cocky. It's better for older workers to go a little fast, to show good management potential. She's pushing forty. She scans through the memo, hitting the Page Down button at reasonably regular intervals, occasionally paging back up to pretend to reread some earlier section. The computer is going to notice all this. It approves of rereading. It's a small thing, but over a decade or so this stuff really shows up on your work-habits summary.
Of course, that has turned the entire thing into the most annoying game you can imagine. Add in the "beatings will continue until morale improves" meetings on the reports, and I'm now convinced one of the best questions I can ask of a new employer is "how do you track employee morale?".
Someday, I'll get asked why that is, and I'll get a chance to quote Seymour Cray's "I think that you just answered your own question."
Instead of having these quarterly "how is working here?" surveys that no one likes, you could input a bunch of questions and it would "randomly" (probably not randomly, but arbitrarily) message them to members of your organizations, and anonymise the results.
That meant that instead of having some huge process every quarter where everyone just kind of skips through the whole thing, if they even read it at all, you could get a semi-live feel for how things are going day to day or week to week, and even get relatively-realtime indications about what effect company events were having on employees.
You can easily get into cynical territory, where you know that an impromptu office ice cream and macaron party will bump up morale by 30%, while laying off an entire team will generally drop it by 20%, so obviously you should lay people off on the Thursday and then have an ice cream and macaron party on the Friday, but overall it's a good idea to get a continual sense of the feeling of your teams and what might be troubling or exciting them.
It emails people with some frequency between weekly and monthly, and it only asks you a few questions every time. Mostly it's a 1-10 scale thing, with cute little graphics.
It also asks open ended questions where you're told the answers are anonymous. That's all well and good, but if your manager can't figure out who's who from the tone of the message, they're a new manager.
And sure, it sounds like a great idea to spot issues. The instant two managers compare scores, or worse, are compelled to compare scores, all bets are off on it's usefulness. Then when you have a meeting where a high level manager painfully asks for input on how to make things better from the entire team while going over each chart in painful detail, the clear goal every individual contributor has is to just pick 8 or 9 and make the stupid meetings stop.
We were assured the results were only to be used in aggregate and no response would be possible to trace back to the individual who'd made it.
I almost fell off my chair laughing when the report had been compiled - the responses were anonymized. Of sorts. Responses used in aggregate. Of sorts.
The engineer, female, age bracket 40-49 years, $SITE in the office next door wasn't as amused.
As the sample size was one, her every response had been printed in the report.
So often a direct manager can't see open ended text in their context but their skip level manager could.
They shouldn't have ever reported on a sample size of 1. That's a bad system
If you're working remotely this could easily identify you.
I should start responding to the survey behind a different VPN endpoint each time. See if anyone asks questions.
Feel your pain
If you have to ask..
Their jobs got outsourced, the police kills without penalty (especially blacks but any race will do), the lobbies run amok, their wages have been stagnant since the late 70s, their employers get increasingly more power over them, health, housing, and college have skyrocketed in costs, ...
... given all the above, which range from quality of life to life and death matters, and which not much protest has been done, surveillance is close to the bottom of the priority list...
> surveillance is close to the bottom of the priority list...
These are directly related. Surveillance causes chilling effects.
Witness it in the people who hate Trump or Clinton or Biden or anyone else that is put forward: you can divide an entire country on it right down the middle, and meanwhile their policies in reality (not policy positions! implementations!) are basically indistinguishable. The same thing would happen regardless of who is elected, for the most part, because the election is a show, a pressure release valve to make people think they've done something.
Even now we have people who think that electing Biden will help solve the problems you've pointed out. People ostensibly on the Left are mad about four years of rhetoric that has been riling them up, and have pulled the lever for "change" to resolve this. And yes, you will _hear_ less about blacks being shot by police for four years - that's part of the strategy, which the media cooperates / coordinates with. The actual number of incidents may not change... Instead, it will be time for news stories and events which angry up the Right for a few years, again forcing them to direct their resources and energy at fighting some spectre that won't change anything instead of directing their efforts inward to truly root out corruption and decay.
There is no protest. Protests are just the establishment throwing a different sort of parade, celebrating their power by demonstrating what they can allow to happen without facing any consequences themselves. Go ahead, yell in the street, burn down a city - nothing changes because nobody is listening and your actions ultimately only hurt people lower down the chain.
Surveillance did not stop the summer of Antifa and BLM rioting. It will not stop a summer of redneck riots if that's in the cards either. Surveillance probably does stop people who actually stand some chance of causing real change; but if that is a functional, working thing, you won't hear a word about it.
(A quick google shows me that Steingold is famous for bagels, and nobody hates bagels)
Don't escort the big chariot;
You will only make yourself dusty.
Don't think about the sorrows of the world;
You will only think yourself wretched.
Don't escort the big chariot;
You won't be able to see for dust.
Don't think about the sorrows of the world;
Or you will never escape from your despair.
Don't escort the big chariot;
You'll be stifled with dust.
Don't think about the sorrows of the world;
You will only load yourself with care.
This also correlates to the idea of boiling frogs. Apparently, if you turn up the heat slowly the frog will stay in the warm water and be boiled, as opposed to jumping out, which is what happens if you place the frog directly into warm water.
Overall, results seem inconclusive. I don't see that Hutchinson's result (frog becomes increasingly active as water is heated by 1°C per minute) contradicts Heinzmann's (no movement as water is heated by 0.2°C per minute).
Goltz's finding that "a frog that has had its brain removed will remain in slowly heated water" seems... unsurprising.
It's all based on three words: 'already', 'will', and 'we'.
'We are already being tracked by our smartphones - So we will be wearing implanted radio chips soon".
Reject 'we' by not using one and you're not being 'aready' tracked, and hence 'will' not accept whatever coming after this.
But it requires some bravery, which is known to be eradicated in people these days.
It really should be a bad term - of course very powerful people conspire to ensure that they get the best they can. And that would mean writing legislation, defining what education is, etc, etc. Its all very obvious...
I think we're doing the same, in a sense asking privately "bring it on; let's see what this would do... to _them_ " as if we're watching a tornado from the safety of the TV not caring of the results; and like that navy officer not able to defend the ship, locked in awe (or ignorance?) of our own peril.
How long does simple key logging last before they add eye tracking?
Elevator pitch for VCs would be about machine learning - neural networks generating consumer head nodding behaviors that match the read phrases, as well as rising simulated body temperature in righteous awe or anger upon "reading" certain pieces of spam. And how all that behavioral data is somehow valuable (lol).
You can have virtual cubicles full of imaginary AI-generated people automating bureaucratic busywork being generated by AI management algorithms.
Maybe I should write a novel about this. (Or am I too late?)
I figure it's an arms race that will play out in the software space. More generally, it's deep-fakes vs deep-fake-detectors.
Had the joy to see some contractors at work. The webcam is recording 24/7 to ensure their face is in front of the screen.
If the employee looks away for a second, the screen flashes something about no user being present.
If somebody else shows up in the field of view, for example me walking by, the screen flashes something about an unauthorized user.
The session is locked out after a few notifications.
This is what it looks like for students: use your laptop webcam to scan the room with your webcam, remove anything deemed suspicious; provide proof of identity (student id), wait for the software to register your face, name, and identity; test opens take test, do not look down or it locks, do not look away or it locks, do not refer to your notes or it locks, do not have people walk behind you or it locks, do not have pets walk behind you or it locks, do not have posters of movies behind you or it registers as a person and locks, do not accidentally click another tab or window or it locks, do not use any of the built-in windows accessibility tools or certain 3rd party accessibility tools (dragon software) or it locks, do not use a mac or it locks; fail test.
Single parents, individuals living with many people in the home, and anyone who does not have access to an isolated quiet, alone work space is screwed.
And it's completely asinine. Just ridiculous.
You have to onboard user accounts to them, install the authentication software on a laptop, and it will open a remote desktop to an AWS workspace. The session is constantly tracking the user's face and gets terminated if they look away for a minute.
Contractors are disconnected regularly because their face stopped being recognized, or they can't login in the first place after 5 tries.
Recall one contractor that contacted support because they couldn't login, support told him that their face was too dark.
The hell did I just read?!
Can't tell if this is satire or real at his point but anyway let me just beat your employee tracking system by propping up a photo of my face in front of the webcam.
Wait, is your fancy system looking for features of life like facial twitches and eye movement to not be fooled by a photo?
Fine, here's a deepfaked avatar of my face acting alive powered by nvidia's latest deep learning magic.
See where this is going?
Was sent a link for an online test (hackerrank if I remember right) for which I needed to keep my camera ON.
Unless this is some kind of top-secret government consultancy thing that is totally unappropriate.
It's minimum wage, hourly contracting with no benefits.
Since all you really need to get started is a laptop, there are rather millions of more or less atomized software shops and developers attached to other industries, other streams of revenue and capital, other entirely disconnected cultures and social norms.
What really scares me is the number of people that adopt this strange Panglossian view dismissing every abuse of power as a one-off that cannot possibly reveal widespread systemic failures.
And no - CCTV is not widespread at all. There's far more CCTV in the UK than there is in the EU where I live now.
States do indeed issue local IDs. There is no common EU ID card and no common EU passport.
There isn't even a common immigration database for Schengen - although that's planned for 2023. (It was supposed to be 2022, but it's been delayed by a year.)
When you send around slides or a doc, there are times when it's actually pretty useful to see who took a look or not -- so if it's important you can ping them. It's not perfect, but it helps.
Privacy-wise it's not a whole lot different from being able to see who's currently viewing the document, which has existed forever.
I also tried the strategy where I prioritized hitting all the metrics (which usually takes very little work relative to your job) and then did my job.
The second strategy led to better reviews, faster promotions, being more well liked by my boss, and an overall more pleasant work experience. I recommend the second strategy.
Of course, if you're contracting for a company that thinks in terms of "resources" that will trickle down into contractors, too. Sometimes team perks like the quarterly see-a-random-movie are "members-only", which doesn't feel great. But then, nobody complains much if you take three weeks off to go hiking.
Unless you're working for a small company directly for the owner you will be dealing with someone who has to convince their boss the project was a success or you were responsible for the failure. And you need to care about a lot of metrics and outcomes to make that you are successful as measured by those metrics, or that it doesn't look like you are responsible for the failure.
Just doing a great job doesn't cut it. No client ever really wants on day 90 what they signed up for on day 1. For most clients the person who is signing your checks, the person you work with on a day to day basis, and the people who will be using your apps will be different people. They will all have different ideas of what success and failure are, and they all have other people they are responsible to. And all of these tensions need to be managed successfully, and this involves a ton of BS that is completely unrelated to what a naïve engineer would describe as "delivering value".
In a normal job your boss is usually your friend, and looks bad if he throws you under the bus. This is not the same for a lot of consulting engagements where people are highly motived to blame their failures on you.
These are the only clients I take as a consultant. As an individual, you aren't going to be able to have that many clients at once; there's no reason, then, not to target the ones that make the job more satisfying. You do often wind up working for small (<50 employees) businesses, but at the same time, this also means your work has a greater chance of having a bigger positive impact across the board.
Everyone has their different wants, of course, and there are plenty of headaches that come from being a 1099 worker. But there's no reason it has to be a slog, either.
I've had customers that want every minute accounted for. I've been pressed to cut my rate for time spent in meetings. I've also had years where the invoices were paid and no questions were asked. I often developed good, personal relationships with clients, even the ones asking me to cut my rate for meetings.
It depends what the company is looking for. It depends on if you oversold yourself, or failed to manage expectations. It's easy to promise too much to get the job. It helps to work with people who are current/former engineers because they understand realities better. That's not always the case, but generally.
This is my point. If you think hitting some metrics on a annual review is hard because it's BS, managing the expectations of 4 different stakeholders is a whole different league of dealing with "BS".
Or to put it a different way, if you're entering consulting to escape politics you are in for a world of hurt.
*this mostly apply to the finding your own clients and running whole project version of consulting. The just showing up as an embedded 1099 worker by applying to or getting recommended to a job does involve a lot less politics.
I agree that being a 1099 hired gun can spare you from a lot of politics. It's nice to have a list of tasks the customer wants, bang them out, and walk away with a satisfied customer and a pile of money.
That said, I spent over half my career at two companies which did everything from staff augmentation to full product development. In my experience I did not detect a level of politics comparable to that at a large valley company. Granted, those companies were outside the valley and owned/run by a very smart, personable, experienced leader/engineer/salesman. It helps to do the investigative work up front and define success criteria in the initial statement of work. A lot of customers balk at paying for the upfront work, but it was a pretty firm requirement when you wanted us to take on a project. I was lucky to get hired into a design services firm early on and benefitted from the wisdom of a building full of independent contractors working for an engineering for hire company.
But, like I was getting at originally, I think it varies. There are some types of work that are hard to scope initially or where the customer exhibits child-like behavior. If you can, you can learn to identify those situations and avoid them. It helps when employment is tight and you can turn down work.
I've worked for two other consulting firms besides mine, one 150 people, one 36,000 and everyone I've talked to who managed client accounts in both those companies has similar experiences.
Sorry just incredibly curious how a company got around having to deal with politics, while doing consulting. Would make a huge difference to my current company.
I wasn't aware of any significant politics between us(account management, which I would say are sales, PMs, and the owner of the company) and the customers. There were political struggles inside big customers(i.e. DirecTV) when a VP would have to justify paying us, but that's not really something we got involved in. There were arguments over billing rates and such, but I wouldn't call that 'politics' it's just doing business. I consider 'politics' to be things like dog and pony shows, massaging peoples egos, playing one faction against each other, etc. There wasn't any of that.
I feel like this suggestion is akin to remodeling your house simply because the walls are the wrong paint color.
Of course the pay bump helps :)
This was far less true at smaller companies where the owners/founders were directly involved.
Are there large companies where it doesn't work like that?
I was like this once. But metrics are not always going in pair with actual performance or logic for that matter. And sometimes manager's hands are tied, even though your performance might be good, manager sees your good work etc.
That happened to me actually, long story short I was given a lot of complicated cases which resulted in "bad performance" based on case/time ratio and by newly implemented corporate performance enhancement program I was downgraded "temporarily" to do grunt work that I magine was like in primary school punishment: "so I had time to think about my behavior".
After a month I've given my resignation letter, without even having next job (which turned out great move, but that's other thing) I was so fed up.
This is actually one of the privileges I’m most thankful for. That I have been able to make it work in an industry where I (and my managers) have the agency to decide how I should be evaluated. I have friends who aren’t so lucky, even when they push hard for the people below them to be evaluated more sanely.
block as much as you can.
delve.office.com and I think it was vortex.data.microsoft.com
umatrix lets you block lots of other parts. Microsoft sites are a cesspool of tracking and cross-tracking.
I wish there was a comprehensive list.
I also wonder how much CCPA and other laws could help with these issues.
All privacy policies say you are entitled to make a privacy request, but none of them provides guidance or a form.
It would be nice to have CCPA advice or even form letters.
For example I can only log into my company's online office suite from the company-provided Chrome installation, and no addon can be installed unless whitelisted by IT.
And you're usually not working from home in that case, and if you are you're connected to the company's VPN.
Some of them (like trafficmanager.net) do seem needed for proper operation but most aren't.
Even when I'm just working locally on a document... I really don't like this either. Nor do I like those 'helpful' O365 reports about my habits and how to spend my time.
I feel like we are losing touch with our own bodies, feelings, nature and other people. We are relying too much on data for a lot of things where it doesn’t make sense
Any company can create bad metrics if they want. The only solution is to either play the game, or change companies.
That said, I fail to see how effective employee monitoring would be via Office 365. I don't know who would be evaluated on number of emails sent per day, unless they were some sort of support personnel. And if so, they are already being monitored by other means. Any other type of evaluation sounds absurd, ex. number of Word docs opened or created, number of spreadsheets opened, number of presentations created, etc.
The easiest way to shoot up the ranking was to avoid any work where you'd not be instantly coding. Never fix a bug where you need to spend time tracking down the issue, never take on the more complicated pieces of work, never use your time to help out junior team members. Instead focus on simple work and trivial refactoring. The statistics are vaguely interesting and I never had it used against me, but the old quote applies: "when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
Yeah, I'll be honest, if I had this sort of metric forced on me, I would completely ignore everyone, not just junior devs who (quite often) ask for my help on finding the right tool to accomplish a task. I can bang out code all day, that's easy as shit.
But I think I'd quit before I'd sink to that level.
Another anecdote, I was once in a tech lead role and spent a lot of time pairing and guiding others on their development work. My commits were low but impact was high. Low commits counted against me during promotion review.
There's a thing now called GitOps, where you manage your infrastructure by tweaking things in a Git repo then Puppet/Ansible/Terraform/Saltstack/whatever runs them automatically. Easy way to get "number of commits" way, way up in a plausible way.
I have a colleague who creates a Jira for every tiny thing that for most people would be just a routine part of their job. He literally spends more time fooling around in Jira than he does actually doing his real job. But he looks great in the stats...
An acquaintance of mine told me at a networking event his company started using git stats to do performance reviews. And he pretty much anticipated how it would pretty much end mentoring, documentation and deep debugging (don't bother fixing something, rewrite the offending part of the code as much as you can and hope the bug goes away!).
I ended up poaching 5 seniors engineers from that place, and got a referral bonus for each of course.
I see this get thrown around a lot but it's not really true. If a metric can be gamed then I agree it's a flawed or poor metric, but there are definitely good metrics that make good targets as well.
Concrete example: I used to work in aircraft maintenance putting Search and Rescue aircraft into the sky to go pull people out of lakes or out of crevasses, etc. One of our KPIs/metrics was the number of hours spent in what's called the "Red" state, i.e. you have no serviceable aircraft that can fly if a callout happens, meaning the region is lacking airborne SAR assets.
There isn't really a way to (legally) game this metric. Either your aircraft is serviceable or it's not. The only way you could cheat is to just lie on your statistics and release aircraft for missions that are actually not serviceable, but that's going to bite you in the ass sooner or later, would require a conspiracy of 10+ people to lie on official airworthiness documents, and doing so is a federal crime not to mention a big ethical no-no.
Our monthly target was zero. I.e. we tried to go each month keeping at least one serviceable aircraft at all times. We only hit that target a few times while I was in that job but it was rewarding, and on months where the Red indicator was particularly large I would drill down with senior staff to determine if it was an anomaly or if there was a trend starting, and we'd address it.
And yet it's still a good measure because it's directly measuring what was our primary objective (i.e. can you put aircraft in the sky to carry out rescue missions or can you not?)
In most cases the measurements are proxies for your "share" of the job. In these case they are almost always bad. In all my years in tech I've not seen a way of directly measuring what I do.
Team metrics can be useful. It is important to know if, say, a team is missing deliverables more than another team. Then you can potentially track down _systemic reasons_.
On an individual level? Can't do it, there's not enough context.
On a pure "lines per code" metric, the most important members on my team would have an abysmal metric. But if they didn't do their jobs, the productivity for everyone else would drop enormously.
Is there a clause I'm unaware of in the saying I quoted that stipulates a target/metric must be an individual one only?
Most of these processes are designed to compensate for managers who don't know what the hell they're doing and shouldn't be in charge of anyone.
I have seen git commits change over time because someone started to look at stats. You absolutely get what you benchmark for.
Nobody cares for effectiveness above a certain company size. Even if the company crashes the managers will still get their bonuses and golden parachutes...
So you end up with work being done to fit the metrics, not necessarily work that is of highest need or more impactful to the organization.
I have seen plenty of bad metrics lead to managers no understanding why their dept's appear to be "hitting all the numbers" but also no performing in the way they desire at the same time
Proving that the initial problem can be reduced to a people problem is useless.
To be more specific about metrics, something that measures what your users care about, or is beneficial to your company is actually useful. Sometimes the most important metric is a zero or one, which is did you ship? Measuring commit frequency seems intrinsically useless.
If you are covering up for something (no staff) than you will look bad. Push the problem up. Make the people above you look bad instead of taking every bullet.
Obligatory reference to (generalised) Goodhart's Law:
"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
Yeah, GP's comment was completely off base. O365 is user-hostile tracking-ware by design. git is just a tool with incredibly high granularity. We don't say scalpels suck because psychopaths use them to torture people.
That sounds awful. Sorry that happened to you.
I've been an engineering manager, for a time, and I used Gitprime to track stats.
It was never used for performance reviews or in making promotion decisions or anything.
What it was used for was to manage upwards and demonstrate to the upper management how decisions affect the team, to indicate when we needed to spend on hiring and had room to onboard new people, etc.
I don't see metrics as "surveillance," unless they're used that way. They can be used for good. But I think as you and others have pointed out -- it requires context and transparency: you can't just rely on metrics for reporting on a person.
Tech managers: you need to bring your people up, develop their skills, and pay attention! Metrics are useful but only relationships bring context.
(I eventually returned to engineering as I didn't find I enjoyed management much)
you have login times to see if they are late, chat metadata to see time to response on dm, idle status to see if keyboard / mouse went inactive. meetings attended, page views on the intranet, etc. if your a full stack o365 shop, then you can essentially log any and all activity for most employees, and therefore target kpi's that you want. even it admins to a degree will have these logged. powershell sessions opened, commands executed against the stack, every single click 8n the web gui in o365, every single action in azure. they are all logged and assessable, I used the same data for security monitoring before I moved to a Google shop
Once the company got bought, my new boss in charge of all developers across all divisions asked me to not mention that again so he doesn't have to do that. Once I moved on, it sounds like ParentCo took a more active role in the development and hopefully they stopped that.
But the tool doesn't force managers to use it, and the absence of a surveillance mechanism, someone who seeking an excuse will invent a metric for the purpose.
The only cure I've found for toxic culture is to remove someone from it. Usually me.
Git is the first thing I set up when I start a new side project, every job aside from one which let me set it up, have used version control.
I will say Plastic SCM sucks and no one should use it though. One of my side projects ran into massive issues with my contractor due to no one, including myself understanding how plastic works. GitHub for life
I've worked (thankfully not as an employee) for a well known BANK which did not have any kind of version control whatsoever. None. Not even folders with dates.
"Where's the latest release?"
"Oh, it's in John Doe's flash drive over there"
I am not kidding.
After a lot of pestering by my company (which was working on a consulting role), they spent big bucks on some unknown version control system used by hardly anyone else. It followed the old Source Safe's "lock" mechanism. Except you had to use their own software and navigate to each file in question (no searching). Imagine how amazing it was to work on a java project and sloooowly open each folder in the reverse DNS package convention until you got to the file you wanted. Very slowly, because all actions happened on the server.
Later on they were bragging on how they were able to create a branch in less than a week. Merging was a day long affair with all code contributors present.
EDIT: still, that was over a decade ago. I didn't know there were companies involved with software in any capacity that still don't have version control in 2020.
"As an (I like to think) good boss, I might use Git statistics to steer interventions with under-performers. If they're committing zillions of lines of code, it's maybe an efficiency or expectations problem. If they never push commits before noon it's maybe a motivation problem."
Though he backtracks a bit regarding his own personal approach:
"But it's always just one data point, and almost always one that colors a response to an issue that exists independently. I'd never determine that someone was an under-performer based on their Git commit history."
The only places I'm aware of that don't use it are game companies, which tend to use source control systems like https://www.plasticscm.com/games specialized in better handling of very large binary blob asset files like textures, movies, audio clips, etc.; and Google, which has the monopoly-scale dev budget to be able to suffer heavily from "not invented here syndrome," so they built their own proprietary in-house SCM.
I can't imagine working somewhere without git, I think the last time I worked somewhere that used something else was a mix of git and cvs back in maybe 2010ish?
Any version control?
Because if so ... wow. That's bad, I thought that sort of practice went out in the 90s.
Most places I've worked in the last decade use git. A big bank used private instances of bitbucket or stash or something. Another fintech was on github, a smaller company had gitlab or something set up. All git.
Outside of git, one of the tech behemoths had several of its own systems going, clearcase and something in rational team concert. Even the tiniest, worst-run places I've been to in the last 15 years or so have at least used svn or something, and going back to the beginning of my career, 20 years ago, there's always been PVCS or SCCS or something...
Honestly I would find it hard to claim that any serious sort of software development at all was going on if there wasn't some sort of vcs!
Used SVN previously for private stuff and I think it is still spread in many companies. I liked it, just all the small folders are a PITA and git is faster for larger repositories. It had far better tools than git in my opinion, TortoiseSVN. Heavy, but practical.
I would always use git now, even if only locally.
It's also well supported out of the box by Azure Devops (aka VSO aka TFS) so I would expect to see it in more traditional, non tech companies as well. The idea that it's not enterprise ready is ridiculous.
Going by completely subjective metrics is pretty unfair, everyone has some amount of bias.
When there is a team member where you feel something is off from a performance perspective and they should do the same things as other colleges and there is a hard difference between them, it helps you that your gut feeling is not that off.
Yet I'll have to wait several more years for a fix for the bug in Office web mail client that incorrectly says there is new mail on the browser tab, when in fact there is no new mail.
Employee tracking features or not, MS 365 is orders of magnitude worse than g-suite in every regard.
Employees don't want these products, so they have to go after managers who can crow to their managers about monitoring productivity.
My boss is considering to moving to MS365 because GSuite showing its ugly head often and that have a impact on our productivity.
Wow, talk about a low bar!
Less snarkily: G suite works for low complexity tasks (let's not get int G drive which seems designed to add gratuitous complexity). Channeling Clayton Christiansen, it's a "minimill" that does a tiny part of the job, not well but adequately.
And it could be argued that most people don't need the capabilities of MS Office. Certainly no one person needs most of the features. There are definitely small problems for which less is more.
Much as I hate using MS365 (back-compatible nightmare of poor UX decisions, too many features for my particular use case) my heart, and productivity, sinks when I have to use the gsuite tools.
It's interesting that nobody has managed to really upend this market, not for lack of trying. There must be huge institutional inertia.
The worst example: you can't use the browser's back button in the MS 365 mail client! Instead of using the back button like any other web app, you have to hit ESC to drop from message detail back to the inbox or folder. The back button instead goes to the next message in the queue.
MS 365 is full of mind-boggling UX decisions on top of annoying bugs that have been around for years.
That must be a feature: one could use the back button to open many mails and even reply to them in order to game the employee 'evaluation' metrics.
I use it a quite a lot and think it is okay, but it has all sorts of problems and behaviors that don't make a lot of sense.
Yea, it does have their quirks. I am aware of those and I know how to work around it or with it. Microsoft Word been around more than 20 years and it have legacy codes in Word to ensure it works with older format and few other oddities.
It's so bad, that I'm thinking my next company has to use Microsoft stuff again - sort of an interview criteria. I'm only semi joking because Outlook and Co seems like a low bar to beat.
You clearly have never sent/received a calendar invite from a g-suite email to a non-g-suite email. The experience is abysmal.
"Look Boss, I'm a good employee. Office 365 spy says so."
More power to the managers, but all good when your managers are likable people.
What does this mean?
Automated metrics deserve automated data.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Why not use GPT-3 or some other GAN and train it on stuff you have actually written?
Then you can have high-quality, automated data to feed the metrics machine.
Exactly this. And remember that it applies to any automated data collection. (After all, automated data collection is automated data collection.)
This was a very brought up topic at MSFT.
Anyway, I would prefer to be unaware I'm being watched - I get kind of paralyzed with anxiety and can't think when somebody's watching over my shoulder and I know they do.
But in other countries the laws are different. Managing a VPN solution you can't imagine how easy it is to get a data protection officer in the US approve a manager request for remote working data of an employee, reasoning being "to check if he worked from home as he told me and not from another place"
The employee is doing work for a employer on a platform provided by the employer.
I knew a guy who worked night shifts because he wasn't getting notoced by the shift supervisors when he went out for a smoke. There were less shift supervisors on night shifts.
See how broken your logic is?
My reasoning of why employee surveillance is fine is that there's a genuine purpose/need (measuring employee productivity) while personal privacy is retained (e.g. don't import personal information into the corporate 365 environment and personal privacy is retained). I'm not saying the metrics provided by 365 are correct, but I don't see the legal argument against it.
You along with all of the other commenters have just responded with the generic assertion of "European privacy rights aka GDPR, duh." But then you don't actually support your assertion whatsoever.
GDPR is not a blanket prohibition on collecting data.
Because the bosses run the world, as people seem to like being bossed around.
Another thing to fight against are requirements to explain resume gaps and discrimination against people who have them and people already seem starting to raise against this.
The society still has a lot of work to do...
The 401k was a really clever trick. I wonder if it was intentional.
I tried a few times. I'll gladly be bossed around for 8 hours when I make this much money..
but seriously totally get how you feel.. it's been my first few months with an IT-managed laptop, and even with the creepier stuff off (hurray european laws) i'm nowhere near used to it
When I was a consultant I visited many offices where I needed a badge to go to the loo. It's really common in shared office buildings, the toilets tend to be in the elevator hall outside the badge perimeter. Don't think they were monitoring it though.