Mistrust In The Workplace, Mistrust At Home

Dr Stuart Woolley
Published in
5 min readJun 28, 2022


Work monitoring is fast becoming ubiquitous, especially for remote workers, and it’s totally unacceptable.

Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

Some modern workplaces do still hang on to the anachronistic and dictatorial belief that efficiency is directly related to how long you spend sitting in your office chair staring at a screen all day.

Aside from the hygienic implications of this, and not good ones at that, this is hardly an objective measure.

Although this may be kind-of-true for management — as their productivity regularly tends to zero and is therefore pretty hard to nail down at the best of times, but nonetheless this kind of objective measure simply cannot be applied to the technically minded classes such as progressive software engineers.

Back to the plot, anyway.

The workplace watchers really found it hard to let go even though many of their notional employees were now working remotely.

This is in spite of the fact that during the first stages of the currently ongoing pandemic productivity and efficiently pretty much sky-rocketed when people were forced to work remotely.

Unfortunately, as restrictions slowly relaxed, remote working was deemed something of a holiday by those that rely on expense accounts, company cars, and being close enough to brown nose with their superiors for their self-worth and remuneration in spite of their offering nothing of actual tangible value to the business.

The back to the office mandates were clear within this cohort, disbelieving actual evidence and ordering people back into the grist mill has them currently haemorrhaging employees by the day.

Some organisations, when forced to allow people to work from home, but refusing to stop hugging them so tightly employed the strategy of having their workers ‘always available’ — i.e. their proctoring masquerading as collaboration tools monitored whether they were at their home office desk by measuring their frequency of mouse movements.

Such doctrine was often circulated under the guise of ‘employees must be logged into Teams at all times when working from home’, or ‘employees must be available on corporate Slack channels during all work hours’ and other such nonsensical…



Dr Stuart Woolley
Editor for

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.