Barclays Has Installed Tracking Devices at Employee Desks


This may be the wave of the future, but we sure find it creepy.  Bloomberg is reporting that Barclays has installed OccupEye heat- and motion-sensing tracking devices under the desks of their employees.  The bank claims it is using this to assess office space usage, and proper real estate utilization could result in significant cost savings for the firm, which reported a $1.8B loss in the second quarter.  Earlier this month, the bank also reported it would be closing another 54 branches by end of year, looking to migrate more customers to digital banking.  

Great example of a technology which, if used correctly, could benefit a company’s bottom line.  Used incorrectly, and you’ve got Big Brother under your desktop tracking your every move while you’re at work.
(Cindy Taylor, Publisher) 

“Barclays Plc has installed devices that track how often bankers are at their desks.

Managers were peppered with queries when investment bank staff in London discovered black boxes stuck to the underside of their desks in recent months, according to several Barclays employees who asked not to be identified speaking about their workplace. They turned out to be tracking devices called OccupEye, which use heat and motion sensors to record how long employees are spending at their posts.

There was a “phased roll-out” of the devices, and Barclays staff and the Unite union were notified before they were installed, although the bank did not send out a specific memo about them, according to spokesman Tom Hoskin. The Barclays employees said they don’t remember being informed about the boxes, but spokespeople for the bank said there have been no official human-resources complaints.

The devices, made by Blackburn, U.K.-based Cad-Capture, are pitched as a way for companies to find out how they can reduce office space, providing a multicolored dashboard to show managers which workstations are unoccupied and analyze usage trends.

“The sensors aren’t monitoring people or their productivity; they are assessing office space usage,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “This sort of analysis helps us to reduce costs, for example, managing energy consumption, or identifying opportunities to further adopt flexible work environments.”…

Full Story at Bloomberg