...it protects our right to rest
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
As working from home is becoming the new normal, employees’ monitoring becomes the new norm.
Companies around the globe are increasingly using software to monitor how long we spend in front of our computer, what websites we visit and what apps we use, when we type, for how long and how fast, how long our mouse stay inactive — any more than 15 seconds away can shift us from ‘active’ to ‘idle’ — and require us to keep our camera and microphone on at all times. These systems pit us against our colleagues who are better adapted to the software’s idea of productivity - by creating leaderboards of employees with their own ‘productivity scores’. This is today.
The future, as it currently stands, promises to read our face in order to display our real-world emotion on our virtual self’s face.
Monitoring systems that are now installed in our homes under the pretext of monitoring productivity or a promise of creating work-like virtual spaces have invaded our private lives making the separation between rest - and our legally mandated time off - and working hours at best virtually impossible.
The constant checking of everyone’s work invades our privacy, capturing both work related information and intimate details - from the health status of someone that needed to use a work laptop to access health information, to video shots of our children playing in the background of a video call.
However, this is not the only problem. Constant monitoring blurs the dividing line between our work and our rest time, between professional duties and personal space.
As approximately a quarter of the world’s population was working from home at the peak of the pandemic period, constant monitoring has left many incredibly stressed, seeing years of work devalued, unappreciated, dehumanised.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Privacy allows us to set limits between our professional and personal spaces, to be free to work with dignity and to be free to rest.
Each work day should not be too long and everyone has the right to rest and take regular paid holidays. Article 24, Right to leisure and rest