ARVADA, COLORADO - August 16, 2022: Indivisible activist Robin Kupernick works from home, with her dogs always near, in Arvada, Colorado Tuesday August 16, 2022. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

With many companies staying remote or starting hybrid models for their employees following the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports there’s a spy game going on between some workers and some employers who’d rather goof off than do actual work.  I have a co-worker who told me he saw his daughter’s computer had a mouse jiggler attached to her mouse while she was supposed to be working.  His daughter was on the couch taking a nap. When she woke up, my co-worker asked her why she was napping when she was supposed to be working.  She said it’s okay because the company thinks she is working because her mouse is moving!  Mouse Jiggler: The gizmo, which can be found on Amazon and elsewhere, is designed to tweak your mouse just enough to keep the lights on. – Honestly, that’s a genius idea!

Microsoft ordered a study last year into whether its remote workforce was being productive. In fact, most worked more than they did when at the office, the study found — but it also noticed what was dubbed “productivity theater.” Some employees have come up with ways to make their employers think they’re working even if they’re not — even if their employer tracks their computer activity.

Essentially, they’ve found ways to trick their computers out of “sleeping.” According to the Journal, one employee who needed to do a load of laundry or other errands copped to calling up a YouTube livestream of sloths; the notifications from new messages were enough to keep her computer from going dark.

Another weighed down a key on his keyboard: Repeatedly “typing” a single letter kept his machine on and his employer apparently none the wiser, even if what the stuck key wrote was pages and pages of the letter C. And still another used a lower-tech version of that: He tied his mouse’s wire to an oscillating fan and went to the gym.

Luckily for my employer, I do not work from home or I am almost a hundred positive that I too would order a mouse jiggler and go out for a brief walk on company time… maybe even run to the grocery store, or meet friends for lunch!

Maryann Morgan

Listen to Joel Katz and Maryann Morgan every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 AM for everything you need to get you workday moving in the right direction.  Joel and Maryann keep you informed with news updates at the top of every hour, traffic and weather three times an hour, and Entertainment Updates at 6:10 AM and 8:10 AM. Check out “What’s Trending” at 7:10 AM and “What Are You Talking About” at 9:10 AM.


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