Wednesday

How to Know You’re Being Watched at Work


We are in an economic crisis as we all know and companies are doing what they can to save money including eliminating employees. When there are many good and talented people working it can be difficult for a manager to choose which will stay and which will be let go regardless of tenure. So how do they conduct a process to eliminate employees while saving the company thousands, they become petty! In the past they may not have cared that you showed up for work a few minutes late, they may not have bothered to review your expense reports carefully for wasteful spending, and it may not have mattered too much that you showed up a half an hour late from having lunch. But nowadays, what use to be considered, “Don’t worry about it, its okay!” Now has become “Worry about it. We don’t really need you.”

So how do you know you are being watched at work? Here are enough tips to help you make the necessary adjustments and hopefully get you off the company radar.

Your immediate supervisors and co-workers are contacted about your performance behind your back.
Those people you love to have lunch with may also be responsible for putting you on the radar to get the managers off their back. Sometimes those we work around know more than what they are telling us, so when they feel like they are backed into a corner with nowhere to go, out comes your name. You may have forgot about something that needs to be done, was slow about turning a document into your boss, or did something else that hasn’t gone over too well. When your co-worker doesn’t want any blame to fall on him or her, they will bring up someone or something else to distract the boss.
Your co-workers or supervisors seem to come around your workspace more.

This is their way of checking in on you. Don’t take those “Good mornings” lightly. They are also watching the clock too. What time did you come in to work is all they really want to know and then they may record it somewhere in their files. Did you leave for lunch early and come back late? He or she didn’t have that last minute request for nothing. Once you turn your timesheet in, they will check it for accuracy. If they catch you in a lie or two or maybe you just have a slow clock and they have a fast one, you just may be reprimanded which will set the paperwork in motion to eventually dismiss you. You may also notice they are showing up at your workspace nearing time for you to go home too. For some managers, they do this to see if you are leaving the office earlier that you should.
Someone checks the websites you have visited when you aren’t around.

If you haven’t learned how to clear history by now you should, but some people are just savvy enough to find other ways to see what you have visited like installing spy software. It is best to visit those social networking, gaming, video, music and personal email accounts away from the office.
Tasks may be created to see if you would volunteer for them.

You may have been able to get away with only doing the things that fit into your job description for years, well at some point someone will challenge you to do more and if you decline too many times, your boss may look toward the young and ambitious that work alongside of you to do what he or she requests. Try to be more flexible and find that spark you love about your job again.
Email time stamps and confirmation receipts are checked.

Bosses who are extremely detail oriented are checking the time stamp on when you sent an email and when you opened it. Don’t feel tempted to lie when you know you should have opened his or her email a little sooner. He or she will know because they have the time at which you responded and the time when they sent it. Lying will also put you on the radar for a future dismissal.

Fake problems are created to see how you would resolve them.

There are real problems at a company, but then there are the phony ones that some managers will create to test you. How you resolve to handle the mystery shopper’s issue that comes through the door or calls you over the phone may also determine whether you or your bubbly co-worker is a keeper.

Your company joins a network for live chat, and requires that you sign in everyday, so that they can see when you are online.

When your boss is in another town, city or state, he or she is not always able to just pop in on you, so to be sure that you are at least in the office; there are those companies who register for these types of programs. This way they can see whether you are offline still sleeping in or online ready to get your day started.

Certain co-workers may appear very friendly and visible because they may be responsible for “keeping an eye on you.”

Be wary of those people who smile in your face as the old song goes. They have hidden agendas whether they are looking to take your position, obtain some knowledge from you to elevate their status, or hope to get rid of you. If you do everything you can to at least keep your job on your end, then at least when the time comes to lay people off, you will be missed.

Traps are set such as money being left out in the open or a cabinet, door or drawer that is typically locked is suddenly left unlocked.

Sometimes there are accidents and sometimes there are those things that people do on purpose. Too many accidents only mean one thing someone is trying to set you up to fail. Always double check everything you are responsible for locking up and if you can get someone to witness your actions by all means do it!

Certain office desk drawers are set with paper sticking out and other traps to see if you opened them.
You know that you have no business snooping through your manager’s files, but you want to know what he or she has written about you or you may want to know when the company plans to lay people off, if you want to go sooner open that drawer otherwise walk away from temptation. Most likely, he or she has set it so that they can see whether you are trustworthy or looking for an excuse to let you go when the time comes.

Expense reports and company credit card statements are checked for excess or frivolous spending.
You know that you shouldn’t have bought the most expensive pens in the catalog or bought an extra meal to take home, but you did. You may want to attempt to cover up your actions with an excuse. Thanks to President Barack Obama’s speech on accountability, more and more companies are finding ways to make their employees accountable for wasteful spending.

Mileage on the company vehicle is checked closely.

Maybe in the past you didn’t always write down the exact mileage you used when you went from point a to point b in the company vehicle, because you knew you also shopped for groceries and took them home, stopped by a friend’s house, and picked up your dry cleaning – whatever you did, at some point someone will be responsible for checking the records and if you haven’t been honest that will also put you on the company radar.

Someone is used to ask you how you feel about your job.

You thought maybe this person sincerely cares about your honest feelings about your job. They may care, but then again they may not. This “good friend” may really be a “mole” for the boss who is wondering how you really feel about the job, him or her, and operations say the wrong thing and you give them an excuse to put you on radar.

Venting about your job is taken seriously and viewed as you being a trouble maker.

So you converse with the “mole” and now he or she has went back and told your boss about what you said. Depending on what your comments were such as, “I think this company needs to pay its employees more. Management does a poor job about meeting our demands. I am thinking about looking for another job” will determine whether he or she keeps you. Most likely, they will view you as a threat with the potential of rallying up support for your cause and if that is the case they will let you go without notice or reason.

Completion of tasks are timed.

The manager knows approximately how long it takes you to complete each task, so when he or she notices that you are falling behind schedule, this person will start searching. What could be distracting you lately to keep you from performing your duties? Is it the Internet, the personal telephone calls, or your social personality? All of which have been the cause of many talented individuals being dismissed.

Phone records are checked for long distance calls and how long you spent on the phone during work hours.

You may not think it’s a big deal to converse with your mother who lives on the other side of the world for about 15 minutes, but a manager who is looking to get his or her bonus for saving money in the department does think it’s a big deal. Not only that, he or she may reason that you aren’t meeting deadlines because you are too busy taking up company time chatting.

Fraternizing with the staff, clients, contractors, and customers.

Everyone has been guilty of talking or listening to someone longer then they should when they are suppose to be working. The boss who walks by looking at you isn’t admiring your new shirt, he or she is timing when you will wrap up that conversation and get back to work. When he or she has warned you about this behavior and you still continue to do it, at some point it won’t be hard to make a decision whether to keep or dismiss you.

In conclusion, consider all of these points the next time you go back to work and make necessary changes. It is very difficult to find a job these days that will give you the benefits you most likely receive at your current one don’t let a dismissal for petty things upset your way of life. As mentioned before, many companies are looking for ways to save money and if it means that they can eliminate just one more position from their workflow chart they will.

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