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Let’s get jiggy with it

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I hadn’t heard of a mouse jiggler until today. What’s one of those? Well, it turns out they are a simple USB dongle or software download that makes it look like you’re using your computer because the mouse is constantly moving and clicking.

Amazon recommends  this one …

… and it costs just $5!

So what?

Well, with the move to working from home, some staffers have come up with the innovative idea of getting jiggy with it by using the jigglers to make it look like they’re working when they’re not.

Most companies have ways of monitoring keyboard and employee activity using remote monitoring services, so employees have started using innovative new ways to make it look like they’re working when they’re not.

This hit the headlines last week when Wells Fargo sacked a bunch of staff for using these jiggling tools. According to Bloomberg the staffers, all in the firm’s wealth- and investment-management unit, were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating impression of active work,” according to disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Many were relatively recent hires, joining in the past two years, and a company spokesperson said in a statement: “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behaviour”.

Of course not  … they’re hardly likely to say they want employees to have low standards and ignore ethics.

Oh …

The Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal was a major financial scandal that shook the banking industry to its core. The bank was revealed to have created fake accounts. Shockingly, these accounts were in the names of its customers. without their knowledge or consent.

Anyways, getting back to the point, it’s no wonder that banks are ordering staff to return to the office and stop working from home. This is particularly true after Finra (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), a private self-regulatory American corporation that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, decided to bring back rules, suspended during the pandemic, requiring closer supervision of working practices in their member organisations. This has meant that many groups banks are cracking down on employees’ home offices and make it harder for them to continue hybrid work arrangements.

According to The Financial Times, a number of large banks have either pressed workers to return to the office more often, or have stepped up their efforts to make sure workers are complying with workplace rules over the last six months.

Bank of America sent staffers “letters of education”, warning them of disciplinary action for not reporting to work the minimum number of days each week. Goldman Sachs told junior employees earlier this year that they would no longer be able to expense meals when working from home, even if they were working late or otherwise would qualify for a meal in the office. Late last month, Barclays and Citigroup both told hundreds of staffers they would be required to be in the office five days a week starting in June.

The banks said they were reacting to the recent changes in Finra’s regulations that would make it harder for them to keep remote workers.

The thing is that you have to question what roles are required to be in the office and not at hojme? Customer Service Reps? Admin support? Maybe those and a few more, but ti’s unlikely to be sernior management or sales who should be out on the road generating business. Or is that out on the golf course …

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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