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Only the Dumb Firms Monitor Badge Swipes

eyeballs, lots of eyeballs, Big Brother is watching

Monitoring badge swipes fosters a culture of distrust and only discourages people from coming to the office says Nahla Khaddage Bou-Diab in this Accountancy Today article. Khaddage Bou-Diab is credited as a “former EY leader” in the piece, per her LinkedIn she spent three years there as a management consultant at the turn of the century. And she’s right.

Her comments are in response to recent reports that EY UK partners have been analyzing “anonymized ‘turnstile access’ data” and may be tying performance ratings to non-anonymized badge swipes.

Khaddage Bou-Diab believes the methods EY has adopted to encourage people back to the office are symptomatic of a wider cultural issue in global business.

Khaddage Bou-Diab said: “Right now, through their attendance monitoring, EY is showcasing exactly why people don’t want to return to the office. At the end of the day, monitoring turnstile data doesn’t create an environment employees would gravitate towards – and, because of it, these large firms, like EY, risk losing staff for good.”

She goes on to say that the work from home policy has “spiraled out of control” so she’s not exactly a champion of remote work here. “Given the knock-on effects of empty offices, namely decreased cross-department collaboration, productivity, innovation, and execution of deliverables, the C-suite needs to now take hold of the situation,” she said. Isn’t fostering an environment of paranoia and distrust the most effective way to achieve that?

This is not an HR problem, she said, rather it’s on leadership to set the tone. “It’s in their job description to create an organisation their employees want to be a part of,” she says of the C-suite. “But atmospheres dominated by control don’t quite fit that – they push staff into survival mode.”

Former EY leader warns against office attendance monitoring [Accountancy Today]