Apparently, Internet tracking and cameras are not enough for employers to monitor their employees to make sure they don’t misbehave. Ron, from the Frame Problem, made me aware of Microsoft’s Orwellian Innovation: a “software program capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, competence and physical wellbeing.” While one of the commentators pointed out that this could be used to benefit employees, it likely will not. Businesses are just not set up to worry about the well being of employees. They are not measured on that. They are measured on financial performance. Although Gallup (and others) argues ad nauseum that happier employees are good for the bottom line, reality is that widget-making is just not fulfilling. Even if those widgets are now services, most employees are still just peons without much impact on the larger workings of the business. Lip service aside, we really do not know what is going on, where the business is heading, or even what the most important recent business decisions were. We have no input on decisions that directly impact us – from bonuses to lay-offs to number of hours worked. In such an environment, it is hard to imagine how more monitoring would help me be more engaged at work or would otherwise benefit me. That would only come from a restructuring of how businesses operate – a more democratic environment rather than the current autocratic structure. This leads me to the conclusion that this program can only be used to ensure that I do not do things that my employers deems unworthy, such as musing over why works sucks so much… And if I muse too long, or get too stressed out, I’ll be monitored out of my job.