Here's a new twist on work from home. One employee, who has worked entirely remote throughout the pandemic and ever since, got an interesting call from their manager. The manager explained, in no uncertain terms, that for the next two weeks the employee's camera had to stay on throughout the entire workday. Needless to say, a new benefit of this employee's job is anxiety.
In Reddit's Antiwork subreddit, the employee posted that their 'manager wants to 'see my face' while working remote.'
I work 100% remotely in public accounting. A typical day for me is working independently for the most part, while myself and my team make ourselves available for any phone calls, web meetings, and emails needed throughout the day.
I got a call from my manager Friday late afternoon. She asks that for the next two weeks, starting upcoming Monday, that I will need to work 50 hour weeks (from my usual 40), with my webcam ON for the entirety of each day, so that she can “see my face throughout the day”.
Our company started allowing employees to become fully remote during the pandemic, and although I didn’t start with them until 2022, it’s safe to say she doesn’t like having to manage remote employees.
Do I have a valid reason to feel frustrated about this? My weekend feels ruined because I started stressing about next week before my weekend even began.
Edit: My assumption for if she will have her camera on, or anyone else present in the office, is no. Also, the reasoning she gave was to be able to step in immediately if she sees confusion on my face while I work.
Edit: This is in the US. Also, overtime hours are tracked and used in a year end calculation for an “overtime bonus”.
The existential horror of this kind of Big Brother work arrangement made the entire community extremely uncomfortable.
So... if you were working in the office she would handle this by pulling a chair up to your desk and sitting a foot away from you to watch your face for confusion for 50 hours a week? Sounds like her position is not very crucial to company operations.
Send the manager an email repeating what she told you 'for clarification'. If you can, cc HR and your boss's boss on the email.
Update your resume and Linkedin. Start applying for other jobs.
Either your boss is acting inappropriately and their request will be rescinded, or you will find a job where you aren't treated like a naughty toddler.
Have you received any other feedback from her about your work? Because this feels like a stealth PIP [performance improvement plan].
We have quarterly performance evaluations. She gave me mine back in June and didn’t say anything negative. I know I’m not her star employee, but I met all performance expectations during that review.
But for all the practical questions and suggestions, Adaptfellow had the most efficient answer:
Mail her a framed photo she can place on her desk.
Just imagine what George Orwell would say.