Zeitschrift für Ergonomie

Zeitschrift für Ergonomie
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ISSN: 2165-7556


Working from Home: A Challenge to Workers’ Rights to Privacy, Humanity and Dignity

Tammy Katsabian

This essay aims to demonstrate how the shift to remote work has escalated the phenomenon of monitoring employees in a way that urges us to consider new ways of defining and regulating employees’ right to privacy. This essay first demonstrates that employers today frequently use intrusive monitoring programs to ensure that their remote workers are actually working from home, in a way that dramatically influences employees’ and their family members’ right to privacy. On this basis, this essay then explains that many of the current monitoring programs also use a strict salary payment system, which compensates remote workers only for the concrete minutes when the system has detected active work. This reality leads to a diminishment of the workers’ most basic right to be treated as human beings and not as machines; i.e., it diminishes their rights to humanity and dignity. Following this reality, this essay suggests restoring employees’ humanity, rights and needs by requiring employers to negotiate and agree on their monitoring policy together with the employees’ representatives.