Staff computers to be monitored in bid to end work from home culture

Public sector workers are set to be put under Big Brother-esque surveillance in a bid to make them more efficient and end the work from culture that has developed since the start of the pandemic.

Surveillance will be conducted by monitoring staff wi-fi and computer logins to determine how much of the workforce on average are working from home, rather than actually physically going into the office.

The changes come as part of concerted efforts to drive attendance rates back up to pre-pandemic levels, after office occupancy rates dropped to 43% at one point in August.

The Cabinet Office said: “We have been consistently clear that we want to see office attendance across the civil service consistently back at pre-pandemic levels.”

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “I do worry that the desire to take off Monday and Friday is an indication that people think that the working week is shorter than the reality is. One can’t help but be suspicious about the desire to work from home on Mondays and Fridays.

“There’s a hard working ethos in the civil service, unfortunately not represented by their trade union, which seems to want them to be in Tuscany to call into work.”

Mark Serwotka of the PCS civil service union said: “This is a ­worrying Big Brother-style development that we fear could be used to victimise our members.”

This all comes after Rees-Mogg left a note around Whitehall offices saying, “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”

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