Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Is a timecard in your future?

As a PM in the government, I had a timecard, dutifully punched each week. In the private sector I never had a timecard. How did my boss know what I worked on?

Actually, in the private sector, and somewhat in a military style of leadership, I was given a mission, some resources, and told, in so many words:
Do good; avoid evil

Admittedly, I was a director and then a vice president, so I was expected to find my way without too much input, keeping in mind both customer and business, satisfying the objectives of each along the way.

But now comes along the 24/7 timecard, or so it seems. I wonder what I would have done with this, as related by David Streitfeld in a recent article?
"[Ms X], a Southern California saleswoman for [company Y], .... was required to download an app on her cellphone that tracked her whereabouts 24 hours a day,.... [Ms X] quotes her manager as saying, perhaps jokingly, that he knew how fast she was driving at all times"
 Did I mention Ms X was released [she says] for refusing to have the app on her phone?

And, then, of course, there's the flap over work practices at Amazon. Nothing more to be said about that here.

Is this really the workplace of the future? Streitfeld goes on to quote Andrew McAfee, associate director of the Center for Digital Business at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. “There’s a lot of competition, global labor pools of pretty good quality, automation to make you more productive and make your job more 24/7. These are not calming forces.”

Well hello! Not calming forces? I guess not.
Strap in; this may not be a pretty ride from here on out.

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