(qlmbusinessnews.com Fri. 14th June, 2024) London, UK —

Wells Fargo Fires Staff for Faking Keyboard Activity Amid Remote Work Crackdown

Wells Fargo, the third-largest bank in the United States, has recently terminated several employees following allegations that they were simulating keyboard activity to give the impression of working. The bank revealed these actions in its filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra).

Wells Fargo has not provided details on how the alleged misconduct was detected or if it was connected to remote working practices. This comes in the wake of new US regulations requiring home offices used by brokers to be inspected every three years.

Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behaviour,” stated spokeswoman Laurie Kight.

Since the expansion of remote working during the Covid pandemic, many large firms have adopted advanced tools to monitor employees. These tools can track keystrokes, eye movements, take screenshots, and log visited websites. However, technology has also evolved to counter such surveillance, with devices like “mouse jigglers” that make computers appear active, which are readily available on platforms like Amazon.

Wells Fargo Bank

In its filings, Wells Fargo noted that several staff members had resigned or been dismissed after an investigation into allegations of faking keyboard activity to create the appearance of working. Bloomberg, which first reported on the terminations, indicated that over a dozen employees were involved. Six cases of dismissal and one voluntary resignation have been confirmed.

These events unfold as many companies, particularly within the financial sector, push for a return to office work. Despite the enduring popularity of remote work post-pandemic, the prevalence has been gradually decreasing. Research by ITAM Business School, Stanford, and the University of Chicago shows that remote work accounted for just under 27% of paid days last month in the US, a significant drop from over 60% during the height of the pandemic in 2020. As of this spring, approximately 13% of full-time employees in the US were fully remote, with another 26% working in a hybrid model.

In 2022, Wells Fargo announced the adoption of a hybrid flexible model for most of its workforce.

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