June 6, 2024 at 5:38 pm

Suspicious Boss Thinks Time Tracking Will Help The Business, But His Employees Show Him Why It’s A Terrible Idea

by Ashley Ashbee

Source: Pexels/Fox

A lot of bosses think that tracking every little thing their employees do will help their business grow or become more sustainable.

Check out this story to see why surveillance tends to have the opposite effect, especially when the staff follow the new rules to a T.

Boss introduces new time tracking tool to “avoid time manipulation”, backfires on him

I work in a small startup company of around 12 people.

Our boss likes to micromanage us, even though he has no expertise in any of our fields.

He will make changes to our strategies/posts/website, sometimes without telling us.

Then he gets upset at US when the customer feedback is bad and we aren’t reaching our predicted goals.

The boss didn’t trust the team, so he did something that reduced performance instead of increasing it.

He thinks we aren’t seeing enough results is because we are manipulating our hours and not actually putting in the work we should.

Until then we each wrote down our hours manually in an excel sheet.

But with the new time tracking tool, he would see how long we were working down to the minute.

We also could only log in on our desk PCs and previously approved home office devices, but not mobile.

The team decided to take it all literally to show him why his plan was terrible.

Our manager called for a meeting and we came up with a plan. We would do as he says, in the most “just following the rules way” possible:

We would not engage in work related conversations with him unless we are sitting at our desks and are clocked in.

Any questions by him which are asked after we are clocked out will only be answered once we clock in again the following day.

Every phone call, text message or otherwise work related things outside of the office would only be answered once there was an option

for us to clock in, either next day in office, or for some of us on our home office device.

Since we no longer have the option to “shift” time manually, all work minutes and hours would be clocked exactly when they took place.

We would stop any independent activity (like posting on social media or writing an email) and would send him EVERYTHING to approve before following through.

Victory! Hurray!

After about a week, our boss was so fed up.

He gave us the option to clock in from our mobile devices, so he could get a more immediate response to his questions.

However, this of course led to us clocking in ways more frequently.

As of 2024, we have abolished the system again and regained most of our independence.

Here’s what the commenters had to say.

A few people had this question and I do, too. Is it an ego thing?

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

I sort of agree. They went back to baseline, but baseline wasn’t exactly fair.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

In all seriousness, it probably helps people cope.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

People like this seem paranoid to me.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

That’s what I thought. It’s sad to me that people have such low standards for themselves.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Score one for the good guys and gals!

If you liked that story, check out this post about a group of employees who got together and why working from home was a good financial decision.