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TESCO forces workers to wear electronic monitoring devices

Do think it looks like a collar? Does it explode if they leave the premises?

Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do (Including Bathroom Breaks) | Alternet


The Irish Independent reports that grocery giant TESCO has strapped electronic armbands to their warehouse workers to measure their productivity, tracking their actions so closely that management knows when they briefly pause to drink from a water fountain or take a bathroom break. These unforgivable lapses in productivity impact workers' performance score, which management then apparently uses to terrify them into working faster.

"The devices give a set amount of time for a task, such as 20 minutes to load packets of soft drinks. If they did it in 20 minutes, they would get 100pc, but would get 200pc if they were twice as fast," writes the Independent. Although TESCO denied that bathroom breaks impact productivity scores, one former staffer the Independent spoke with said he got a "surprisingly lower" score when he took a bathroom break.

"Sometimes, management would call staff to an office and tell them they had to do better if their scores were low."

"I had really easy assignments and when I'd come back after a break, I would get a horrendous score and wonder why," he said.

He added that since the introduction of the device workers faced increasing pressure to produce more and more.

But working people close to death has some downsides for companies. Studies show that work stress is linked to physical and mental ailments, from sleep deprivation to chronic disease. In the end, stressed, sick workers saddle companies both with rising health costs (for those that actually pay for employee health expenses) and the costs of high turnover.

According to the CDC, excessive workloads and changing demands are the biggest triggers of work stress.

*Thanks, Alan!*