Barclays Installs Desk Sensors To Monitor Employees

Tyler Durden's picture

As we reported last month, a Wisconsin company called Three Square Market has become the first company in the US to offer microchip implants to its employees. The firm, which designs software for breakroom markets, wants employees to use microchips to help facilitate vending-machine payments. The firm wanted to use its employees as test subjects for their product. And though the program was strictly voluntary, it marks an uncomfortable beginning of a trend that could someday result in all humans being involuntarily microchipped.

Now, across the pond, companies are escalating efforts to monitor their employees.

Barclays Plc has installed devices at its London headquarters that track how much time bankers spend at their desks. While a spokesperson for the bank says the devices aren’t meant to evaluate employees’ performance, their introduction has clearly spooked members of the rank-and-file, who leaked the story to Bloomberg.

The devices are manufactured by OccupEye and use heat and motion sensors to record how long employees are spending at their posts.

According to Bloomberg, employees inundated management with questions about the devices after they first appeared under their desks. The bank reportedly didn't neglected to inform some employees ahead of time.

“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.”

While the devices could be part of CEO Jes Staley’s efforts to reduce the company’s real-estate footprint, Barclays employees have a reason to be paranoid. According to Bloomberg, many investment banks have been taking steps to more closely monitor their employees as banks face shrinking profit margins in key businesses like trading.

“Investment banks are increasingly using technology to keep tabs on how their staff spend their time. Barclays has introduced a computer system to track how much is earned from every client, allowing bosses to determine how much time traders, analysts and salespeople should spend with each customer.”

An officer with UK trade union Unite said the union was promised that data collected from the boxes wouldn’t be used to evaluate employees.

“We were given assurances that the boxes did not monitor individuals or their performance,” Unite national officer Dominic Hook said in a statement. The union “will keep a close eye on the situation to make sure that the sensors are never used to spy on staff or as a means to measure productivity.”

Lloyds Banking Group, which, like Barclays has been trimming its London office space, also uses similar devices. Sources inside major US investment banks like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc. told Bloomberg that they don’t use devices like these.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GUS100CORRINA's picture

Barclays Installs Sensors To Monitor How Long Employees Spend At Their Desks


Last of the Middle Class's picture

I'm sure the heating and lighting of your cubicle is a "major expense" to them.  LMFAO!

sickavme's picture

office space usage my ass...


They know, based on how many employees are actually employed, versus how many desks there are, what the "office space" usage is...


This shit is stage one of making sure ur ass is working like a slave to pay off that debt...

Honey-Badger's picture

I use an automated mouse mover to show my workstation and chat as active if I want to take an afternoon nap.

SWRichmond's picture

Anybody puts a black box motion detector under my desk I will assume there's a camera in it and I'll be sitting there with my dick hanging out.  I might even draw a goddamn :-) on it first

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

I bet there are loads of Web sites devoted to that sort of thing.

divingengineer's picture

Mouse jiggle.....err....that's what I heard from a friend!

Mr 9x19's picture

should put  sensors in their own ass to inform in real time when they die so we can celebrate asap on fresh dead bodies.

mrtoad's picture

They know that. They want to find out how often they are at their desk. This could lead to having people work from home to save money renting office space.

The Cooler King's picture

I'm at my desk 24/7!!!  watching porn

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

All employees will now be required to wear Depends because bathroom breaks are limited to one per 12 hour shift.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

They should implant chips in the left and right hands so the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

Eyes Opened's picture

Nothing a 14oz Stiletto can't handle....

Dave the jew's picture

Common place in most institutions now! Serfdom on a bankers level . Many ways to break free from the shackles of the oppressor though. Unfortunately the oppressed seem to like their survitude at the moment - I wonder what will be the straw the breaks the back of that hideous camel ?

Normalcy Bias's picture

The future workplace will be a Technocratic Slave Plantation, unless people stand up to this shit before it's too late

I won't be holding my breath.

Bernie Madolf's picture

Dude, it's called a poop sock.

They let you go to the bathroom at work?

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

I thought everybody pees into the trash can under their desk.

Thugocracy's picture

My truck has an electronic logs device that a banker could shove up his butt and I wouldn't mind.

CRM114's picture

I'm not sure your truck would fit up a banker's butt...but give it a go.

Get some speed up before impact. Maybe a bit of oil smeared on the front.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

What if I do my most creative thinking whilst on the toilet?

CRM114's picture

Hardly surprising...pretty much guaranteed that no one is full of sh!t when they finish ;)

The Romans used to have communal toilets for that purpose.

BullyBearish's picture

...nothing a $7.99 heating pad couldn't take care of...


oh, and one of these:


Promethus's picture

I was thinking along the lines of duct tape and a hamster  

ET's picture

Will it also monitor sleep?

That's what most people want to know.

any_mouse's picture

Heat without movement.

Will the sensor detect an intern under the desk servicing the boss?

south40_dreams's picture

The beatings will continue......

Last of the Middle Class's picture

“The sensors aren’t monitoring people or their productivity; they are assessing office space usage,”  Aaaaannnnnd MIcky D's kiosks are designed to let employees have more time to interact with customers, Injectable ID's are to help you log onto your computer more quickly, and FB is really concerned about hate speech with their (now massive) censorships. Utopia in acton as little by little your freedoms, well, just . . .  disappear.

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Up next rectal thermometers.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

Nurse: Doctor, why do you have a red thermometer behind your ear?

Doctor: Shit! Some asshole has my pen!

Stanley Lord's picture

Bloomberg has been doing that for years, in your review they have a list of how long you were on the phone, how long in the bathroom, how long at lunch how long away from your keyboard.

This is part of the reason Bloomberg never ran for Presidet, he spys on his employees, and clients, as well as his abysmal record for maternity leave.

SWRichmond's picture

This is the man who wants nationwide gun control.  Why am I not surprised?

Kassandra's picture

This is why I work for myself. It isn't easy and some years are better than others, but I'll be damned if I subject myself to this sort of soul killing bullshit!!

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

Plus he's short even for a midget.

Yen Cross's picture

  Barclays needs to install sensors that watch how long their currency traders spend in chatrooms, colluding before the London fixing everyday.

cherry picker's picture

These dictators running corporations, home owner associations, and others make big brother .gov look like amateurs.

Good thing my time line is short, getting tired of this planet and the games the people play.

FederalReserveBankofTerror's picture

Permanently Reduce The Federal Debt by $2,465,000,000,000 In One Day!


secretargentman's picture

Pretty sure the plan FRBoT linked would do that. 

Bam_Man's picture

If you are willing to sell your soul to receive a paycheck from one of these obscenely criminal banks, then this should not be a big deal.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

There is a better way.  Leave the city, start a business, treat your clients and employees better than you have to.  Watch yourself become more happy/fulfilled.

CRM114's picture

About 230 years ago, the absolute favorite activity of French peasants was watching their former estate managers go to the guillotine. They'd get there hours early for the best view. They'd bet on their last actions. There were pies and wine, a regular tailgate party.

Today's equivalent would manager.


Patience, it's coming.

Grandad Grumps's picture

Maybe next they will install deadman's switches on their seats.

... but did they chip them like the family pet?

GRDguy's picture

Just another effort by Barclays (founded in 1690) to control the world as one of the original agents of The Great Red Dragon, who's stated goal "is to own the earth in fee-simple."  They're obviously working hard at it.

hooligan2009's picture

recently built london offices blocks consist entirely of "hot desks"

no cubilces, you turn up with your lap top and plug into any "port" on banks of desks that have phones/additional networked pcs

meeting rooms, kitchen areas and quiet rooms are available for walk -ins or bookings.

staff have the option of working from home for the odd month or two in a year, since it makes no difference if they are in the office or not

the big issue is, there is a complete disintegration of any teamwork or iterative interaction - you exist, virtually, in the cloud as an avatar (or avatard!).

there is no team culture or identity - this is the new "PC" world.

the next step is to monitor key strokes and verify quality via algorithms that verify the content in terms of boxes ticked.

the of course, research can be completed entiely remotely by bots that receive information and post it in the right boxes to set a minimum standard that employees frequenetly fail to make.

of course, no gut (insitnct), no glory - all profit will be printed by algos, using crypto currencies that have no ontrinsic, just complete and utter bullshit, value.


WhackoWarner's picture

 hooligan I agree with you 4000%  (who cares about spelling i get your gist).


Maybe agree 12000%


hooligan2009's picture

heh - proves i am not a bot - or a wannabe resident of bangalore!

I Write Code's picture

I'm going into work tomorrow to resign on the basis of similar workspace.

Which is only everywhere these days.