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Technology should be used to ease workers’ burden – not trap them in an Orwellian nightmare, says GMB Union 

One in three workers say surveillance by bosses is having a negative impact on their mental health, according to a GMB poll. 

In a survey of more than 1,600 workers, more than 32 per cent agreed with the statement ‘surveillance by my employer has a negative impact on my mental health or sense of wellbeing at work’. 

GMB has released the figures as the union begins its annual Congress in Harrogate today. 

Other findings from the survey include: 

  • nearly one in five (18.3 per cent) are worried technology will make their jobs obsolete within five years 
  • almost one in four (23.7 per cent) say automatic processes often make errors with pay, shifts and performance 
  • just 1 in five (22.9 per cent) say technology has made their job better in the past five years 
  • three quarters (72.4%) don’t understand how bosses use the information they collect on workers 

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Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: 

“Bosses are trying to play big brother to workers and it’s got to stop. 

“In a relentless drive to push workers harder, they are affecting their mental health. 

“Technology should be used to ease workers’ burden – not trap them in an Orwellian nightmare. 

“The results are clear – we need legislation to limit workplace monitoring to protect people’s wellbeing.’ 


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