The health crisis has forced companies to adapt, by switching to teleworking. And today, even though the majority of COVID-19 restrictions have disappeared, many organizations continue to allow employees to work from home. Others have opted for a hybrid model that mixes teleworking and face-to-face.
Telecommuting has many advantages, since it can allow a better balance between personal and professional life. And employees are also delighted not to have to travel to their workplaces every day.
Numerous studies have been carried out on the subject. For example, in May, we relayed a report from the National Productivity Council suggesting that employee productivity has increased thanks to teleworking.
“Unlike many previous crises which led to a slowdown in trend productivity, the acceleration in the use of telework linked to the health crisis could ultimately lead to a lasting gain in productivity”indicates the CNP.
But telework does not only have advantages. On the employee side, it can also lead to a deterioration in working conditions. And moreover, another study suggests that European employees are beginning to get bored.
And as far as employers are concerned, they may have difficulty verifying the work of their employees. Moreover, a new type of fraud has emerged with telework: employees who subcontract their tasks to freelancers to have free time or to be able to have several jobs at the same time.
Teleworkers outsource their tasks
For 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 proposal on the Upwork platform for freelancers. This proposal came from a German employee who worked for a chip manufacturer.
When the Pakistani asked for technical details, he would have received confidential documents from the company, as well as a login and a password allowing access to the network of this company. Sensing that there was something wrong, he finally refused the job.
He published his testimony on the Reddit forum, and was surprised to read many comments from other freelancers who had already received similar proposals. In essence, it’s 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, which specializes in digital.
According to Business Insider, this indicates that generally these are people working in the United States or Europe for large companies, with high salaries who subcontract tasks to freelancers living in countries with low incomes, with lower salaries.
The problem is that this outsourcing is done without the knowledge of the employer and that unauthorized third parties can obtain access to confidential information, or even to sensitive user data.
The phenomenon is not new. But according to Cameron Edwards, the reported cases have increased in the past two years.
In companies, there are signs that can detect employees who outsource the tasks assigned to them: for example, if the employee’s account logs in with a suspicious IP address (thousands of kilometers from their usual location).
Smarter, a computer scientist paid 90,000 dollars made the buzz by developing a script that automates his work, allowing him to stay only 10 minutes a day on his desk.
“In about a week, I was able to write, debug, and perfect a simple script that does all my work. It basically scans the on-premises hard drive for new files, generates hashes for them, uploads them to the cloud, and then generates hashes again for fidelity.”he explained on social networks.