New Zealand: Far from being a perk of the job, your work smartphone and car may actually help your boss keep tabs on your work rate.
An increasing number of employers are using GPS technology – ostensibly to make cost efficiencies – but are reaping the benefits of being able to keep a tight rein on where their employees are.
Ryan Lusty, general manager of Auckland”s Drain Repair Company, said the company installed GPS in all its vehicles about six years ago at a cost of about $1000 for each vehicle.
The GPS would monitor exactly where workers were, how fast they are going and how long they spent at a job.
“The reason why we put them is just to stop the extra travel, because the vehicles do get abused if you can”t see them.
“They will shoot to the city in the middle of the night or something stupid like that. Now we know how long they are on jobs for, and if they have gone the best, shortest way to a job.”
Lusty said there was bristling among workers when it was first installed.
“At the start the guys weren”t very happy about it, obviously, but everybody has got used to it now and its standard practice. Everybody knows it”s there and they are work vehicles and that”s it. Everybody knows we are watching them at all times.”
Lusty said it had saved the company thousands of dollars.
“There are a few companies that have it. We have been trying to push other companies to use it.”
And it hasn”t taken long for some of the country”s more unscrupulous workers to come unstuck.
In a recent case a Nelson man, employed by Downer to undertake maintenance, was found to be heading home well before he said he was.
When the man said he was out on a job, often being paid overtime for working more than his scheduled hours, he was actually at home. He was fired.