The health crisis has forced companies to adapt, switching to teleworking. And today, even though most COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, many organizations continue to allow employees to work from home. Others have opted for a hybrid model that mixes teleworking and face-to-face work.
Telecommuting has many advantages as it can allow for a better balance between personal and professional life. And employees are also delighted that they don’t have to travel to their workplaces every day.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject. For example, in May, we broadcast a report from the National Productivity Council suggesting that employee productivity has increased thanks to telecommuting.
“Unlike many previous crises that led to a slowdown in trend productivity, the acceleration in the use of remote work linked to the health crisis could ultimately lead to a lasting increase in productivity”indicates the CNP.
But teleworking not only has advantages. On the employee side, it can also lead to a deterioration of working conditions. And furthermore, another study suggests that European employees are starting to get bored.
And as far as employers are concerned, they may have a hard time verifying their employees’ work. In addition, a new type of telecommuting fraud has emerged: employees who outsource their tasks to freelancers to have free time or to be able to have several jobs at the same time.
Telecommuters outsource their tasks
At the moment, we do not have precise data on this phenomenon. But this is highlighted in an article recently published by the Business Insider site.
In this article, BI relays the testimony of a Pakistani cloud computing specialist who received a pitch on the Upwork platform for freelancers. This proposal came from a German employee who worked for a chip manufacturer.
When the Pakistani requested technical details, he would have received confidential documents from the company, as well as a username and password that allowed him to access the network of this company. Sensing that something was wrong, he finally turned down the job.
He posted his testimonial on the Reddit forum and was surprised to read many comments from other freelancers who had already received similar proposals. In essence, it is common.
And it’s not just an impression. The phenomenon would be quite common in technical fields, and in particular among developers. This is explained by Cameron Edwards, vice president of the American recruitment agency Malten Silver, specialized in digital.
According to Business Insider, this indicates that these are generally people who work in the United States or Europe for large companies, with high salaries, who outsource tasks to freelancers who live in low-income countries, with lower salaries.
The problem is that this outsourcing is done without the knowledge of the employer and that unauthorized third parties can gain access to confidential information, or even sensitive user data.
The phenomen is not new. But according to Cameron Edwards, reported cases have increased in the last two years.
In businesses, there are signs that employees who outsource tasks assigned to them can be detected: for example, if the employee’s account logs in with a suspicious IP address (thousands of miles from their usual location).
Smarter, a computer scientist who paid $90,000, made a splash by developing a script that automates his work, allowing him to spend just 10 minutes a day at his desk.
“In about a week, I was able to write, debug, and refine a simple script that does all my work. It basically scans the local hard drive for new files, hashes them, uploads them to the cloud, and then hashes them again for fidelity.”explained on social media.
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