Wells Fargo Fires Employees for Fake Working

The employees were found to be using "mouse jiggling" technology to make it seem like they were working.

Those innocent pandemic tricks could get you in serious trouble in 2024, with Wells Fargo reportedly firing a group of employees that were caught pretending to work on the job.

Hybrid and remote work options remain popular in the business world, despite some businesses pushing employees to return to the office. Companies like Google and Microsoft have positions open right now, with a variety of other businesses still allowing the flexible work perk to exist.

That doesn’t mean some don’t take advantage, with Wells Fargo cracking down on faking it while working from home in a major way.

Wells Fargo Fires More Than a Dozen for ‘Mouse Jiggling’

A report from Bloomberg acquired a disclosure to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that found more than a dozen employees were found to be using technology that allowed them to simulate keyboard behavior to make it seem like they were working. They were promptly fired.

“[The employees were] discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating impression of active work.” – the disclosure from Wells Fargo

It was unclear whether or not the employees in question were remote workers from the disclosure, but it’s safe to assume so given the nature of the offense. A company spokesperson noted that the company holds its employees to “the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behavior.”

What Is a Mouse Jiggler?

During the pandemic, a huge influx of remote workers hit the market, many of whom were perhaps more interested in enjoying the additional free time than getting work done at home.

As a result, technology was invented to track employees while working from home, leading to many workers to employ unconventional methods to maintain there more relaxed business day.

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That’s where mouse jigglers came in. With mouse tracking software rolling out to some companies to make sure employees were actually doing something during the day, these handy devices made your computer mouse move without your assistance, so that it appears you’re an attentive employee.

As you can likely tell from the subject matter of this story, mouse jigglers are frowned upon at best and outright prohibited at most jobs. So, make sure you don’t get caught if you plan to use them, which we’d recommend against.

Does This Mean Remote Work Is Bad?

Obviously, this is a hit to the validity of remote work in the business world. Managers looking to force employees back into the office could use this to make it seem like the flexible work arrangement leads to this kind of inappropriate work behavior.

However, it’s worth noting that this anecdotal evidence hardly refutes the studies upon studies that show remote work can improve productivity and even boost revenue for businesses that offer the popular perk. On top of that, employees regularly report better work-life balance and mental health, which leads to better retention rates for top talent.

All that to say, don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, particularly when the rest of the orchard really likes the flexibility of working from home.

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
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