Keystroke Technology: Employee Sacked from Not Typing Enough

Photo Credits - Ales Nesetril via Unsplash

Keystroke technology has been used by companies globally, which has led to a striking example of the changing dynamics of remote working. An employee has been fired due to significant performance issues tracked by keystroke technology. The employee, Suzie Cheikho, had worked at Insurance Australia Group (IAG) for 18 years.

This incident highlights the increasing use of digital monitoring tools in remote work. It emphasises the need for consistent and responsible performance as remote work blurs the line between professional and personal life.

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Keystroke Technology

Keystroke technology has become a key player in the world of remote working, providing valuable insights into employee performance and productivity. By carefully tracking typing patterns, key intervals, and work habits, this technology allows employers to assess how efficiently and dedicatedly remote workers are performing. 

It gives a detailed understanding of work behaviours, including sticking to work schedules, completing tasks, and response times. Moreover, keystroke technology helps to spot potential issues like long periods of inactivity or straying from established work hours. These insights empower employers to fine-tune remote work setups, ensuring smooth communication, prompt task completion, and overall performance alignment. 

While boosting accountability and efficient management, the technology also raises questions about employee privacy and finding the right balance between monitoring and trust in remote work settings. As remote work keeps evolving, keystroke technology offers a data-driven approach to enhance productivity and uphold professional standards.

Employee Found Underperforming

According to The New York Post, Cheikho was a consultant responsible for important tasks like generating insurance documents, following regulatory timelines, and ensuring “work from home” compliance.

Despite being in charge of enforcing remote work standards, Cheikho’s own performance suffered under the company’s keystroke technology. The monitoring took place over 49 days from October to December and exposed major problems in her work habits. Her keystroke analysis raised concerns about her commitment.

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She consistently started work late on 47 occasions, ended early on 29 days, and didn’t follow her assigned hours on 44 days. Most concerning, she didn’t work at all on four separate days. Cheikho defended herself, saying she sometimes used different devices to log in and her hours weren’t as low as they seemed.

However, a closer look at her keystrokes showed an average of just 54 keystrokes per hour during the monitoring period – far below expectations. The consequences were significant. The company let her go on February 20, citing missed deadlines, important meetings, and effective communication as reasons. Her failure to complete a critical task even led to penalties for her employer.

This dismissal came after a series of events starting in November 2022 when Cheikho received a formal warning and was put on a performance improvement plan. Despite efforts, her performance remained poor, resulting in her firing. In response, Cheikho filed an unfair dismissal claim against IAG. However, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) sided with the company, agreeing her dismissal was due to her misconduct.


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