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Discussion on: Do you agree with intrusive time tracking software?

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Spyros Argalias

It's as you said. It makes you feel anxious. If you feel anxious, that doesn't sound healthy. That's the only answer you need. But yeah, it sounds extreme.

What to do about it depends on your confidence and experience.

One option is to completely disregard the program and do your work as normal. Just pretend it doesn't exist. If a manager brings it up, direct them instead to your performance. Mention that you do good work, you complete stories on time, etc. Also explain that you're in meetings often, that programming requires a lot of thought, etc. In other words the metrics from the program don't correlate with your performance. Although, depending on how much the company values those metrics, this could put your job at risk.

If you're not as confident about disregarding the program. Then another option is to discuss it with your manager. Mention things like "you performed well 2 days ago but had an issue that required a lot of thought, etc. so you got a warning email. Is this something that you should worry about or can you just ignore it?"

The solution that requires the least confidence, and can even make you look best in your company's eyes, is to game the system. In my experience, this is the one that most people go for. This means to artificially change your actions to please the program. Not the most ethical, but the easiest. And frankly, it's naive to incentivise metrics and expect (most) people not to dedicate themselves to those metrics above all else.

Finally, the last solution, which requires the most confidence, is to talk with your managers about the metrics. This is only if you genuinely believe that the metrics affect the workplace negatively. You would have to make a good case for why the metrics are bad and how the company would be better without them, perhaps by focusing on different metrics instead. So, this is a tough one. It may also paint you in a bad light if management doesn't welcome feedback and suggestions from employees.

Pick one based on how much difficulty vs ethics you're ready for :). In the worst case, you may just need to get used to it.