Civil servants’ computers are monitored to check attendance

Computers of civil servants working in the Cabinet Office will be monitored to check attendance in a government effort to reduce work from home.

The move is part of a larger effort within Whitehall to increase staff attendance to pre-pandemic levels four days a week.

according to telegraphAnd the Civil servants have been notified In an official notice – titled “Privacy Notice for the Cabinet Office Official IT Platform” – that their compliance with the Office’s procedures will be verified through their use of computers in the Cabinet Office.

The notice states that employee data will be processed to compile anonymous statistics on office occupancy and to report on the total numbers of employees attending Cabinet Office locations.

This will help monitor “general compliance with the work of the office and inform the future strategy of how Cabinet Office properties will be used”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Cabinet Office minister who recently turned to the Department of Business and Energy, is in charge of the “Efficiency” campaign.

At some point in August, the occupancy of the Cabinet Office dropped to just 42%, according to telegraphalthough by the end of the month, it had risen to 66%.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recorded the lowest attendance rate in the same month, ranging between 30% and 39%.

The Department of Defense (MoD) had the highest in-office rate of 85% at the end of August, followed by the Department of Education, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Business and Energy, all of which had nearly 50% attendance. modified. The Cabinet Office It currently employs approximately 2,700 employees.

Wi-fi and computer login will be used to monitor employee occupancy and determine the daily average of employees arriving at work. Departments may also use other methods of obtaining anonymized data, such as manual head counting, office or space reservation systems, or pass scroll entry.

The Cabinet Office said departments should choose the best way to collect data.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said efforts are being made to create a standardized approach to effectively track occupancy that would provide a record of daily and historical trends of office occupancy levels for the building.

“We have been consistently clear that we want to see office attendance across the civil service continually returning to pre-pandemic levels, and ministers and officials at all levels keeping the machinery of government working before what we know is going to be a tough few months,” the spokesperson said.

In July, Cabinet Office Minister Kate Malthouse warned that the massive amount of remote work could weaken the capabilities of civil servants and ultimately harm the public sector.

Malthouse said he was particularly concerned about the younger staff Work from home.

“I think there’s a critical issue, at the core of this we have to face, and that’s our duty to young people,” he said.

“Young people cannot learn at a distance if they are sitting in their bedroom, in their small apartments as a junior civil servant, they are not acquiring the nuances, skills, and informal direction that more senior officials and politicians can already provide.”

He added: “Young people need to see a variety of seniors and learn from a diverse group of people and they need to meet you.

“And to be completely honest with you, guys found it very frustrating to be stuck at home – it was very frustrating.”

However, many organizations see hybrid work as the future, providing a better work-life balance. Last week, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies Other tech chiefs criticized for trying to force employees back into the office.

“If you rely on the compulsive hours you spend in a traditional office to create collaboration and give a sense of belonging within your organization, you are doing it wrong,” he said.

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