Who is Suzie Cheikho? Keystroke Technology | Got A Woman Fired From Her Work-from-Home Job

Suzie Cheikho, a former consultant with the IAG
Source: thestatesman.com

In February of this year (2023), Suzie Cheikho, an 18-year employee of Insurance Australia Group (IAG), was told she would not be continuing her employment…

After the fatal COVID-19 epidemic struck, the idea of working from home (WFH) saved the lives of billions of people worldwide. For the majority of companies and employees, the WFH formula was found to be more effective even after things had returned to the “new normal.” In addition, it allowed people to avoid wasting numerous hours on their commutes.

Suzie Cheikho was fired because her employer used keystroke technology to track her performance while working remotely.

The New York Post claims that Cheikho’s purported termination was due to a deemed deficiency in typing during her work from home hours. Her termination was upheld by Australia’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) notwithstanding her appeal against the “unfair” dismissal. They claimed that misbehaviour was a valid grounds for her dismissal.

Cheikho was given a formal warning over her productivity earlier in November 2022. She was put on a performance improvement plan by the corporation.

Cheikho’s reported hours showed minimal typing activity, according to the records. For extended intervals, they logged zero keystrokes. October saw 117 hours, November saw 143 hours, and December saw 60 hours.

Her average hourly keystroke count during the surveillance period was 54. She didn’t seem to be regularly completing her work responsibilities, which is a sign of maybe insufficient work involvement.

Suzie Cheikho refuted the assertion, pointing out that she occasionally logs in using other devices and denying that there is a shortage of working hours.

Among the crucial duties she oversaw were “work from home compliance” and the prompt preparation of insurance documentation in compliance with regulatory requirements. The company provided explanations for missing meetings and deadlines, being unavailable, and not finishing work that were allocated, which led to regulatory action.

Thomas Roberts, the FWC’s deputy president, found that even though Cheikho was being watched, she did not do the necessary labor requirements during the allotted hours. Roberts acknowledged the difficult circumstances but upheld the firing as a proper reaction to misbehaviour.

But, firms who adopt work-from-home rules have challenges because it might be difficult to monitor each employee’s progress in their task. Consequently, certain workers have discovered methods to take advantage of the work-from-home arrangement. Without direct supervision, WFH employees typically have more freedom because the boss can’t really keep an eye on whether his coworkers are working or not. At least that’s what we believed.

A recent discovery by an Australian company offers a solution that makes use of some quite basic technology. The insurance company tracked an employee’s productivity and performance when working from home using a system known as keystroke technology.

This specific program used something as basic and routine as typing to identify the worker’s wasteful working style. What was the outcome? The worker received a firing.

Thus, the issue is: Will keyboard technology continue to be a major factor in the culture of working from home in the future? We try to address it by quickly reviewing all of the information we currently have on this occurrence and how it transpired.

What is keystroke logging and/or technology?

Keystroke technology, more often referred to as keystroke logging among IT professionals, is the process of keeping track of each and every time a keyboard key is hit. The program, which is often referred to as keyloggers, basically records whatever a user types on their laptop or PC keyboard. The tracking is carried out to the extent that information on the key’s name, the typeface used, and even the exact moment when a keystroke is made may be retrieved. The fact that most of this occurs without alerting the user to being watched has sparked ethical questions.

Keystroke recording is frequently used to keep an eye on a device that collects system feedback. Hackers have also used it for more malicious purposes, such as stealing login information from computers or laptops. Currently, productivity metrics are being tracked by employees using this technology.