A young man by the name of Brandon has taken to TikTok (his username on there is @placementco) to bring to light an interesting scenario – apparently he received an odd friend request on Xbox Live from a seemingly random user. Not long after, his boss broke the news to him that he was fired for playing Xbox while “at work” (Brandon’s job is allegedly a work-from-home position).
That’s at least the story you’d see if you checked out his TikTok or came across the video which has been shared thousands of times on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
And many people have fallen for the advertisement. Some have even gone as far as engaging with the video through comments asking what would be reasonable questions or leaving logical statements such as “why would you even add randoms on XBL, anyway?”. A few have even chimed in with support for the “boss” that fired Brandon stating “well, he’s supposed to be working, not playing Xbox”. One user on TikTok even said “Jfc your boss was really tracking you down on Xbox”.
Thankfully, truth be told, this is nothing more than a marketing ploy from a savvy career coaching business. However, it highlights something that can and, once the video is seen by enough, probably will happen in the near future – employers (at least those that oversee employees working from home) trying to keep tabs on their online habits (gaming or otherwise) to check on productivity.
Employers are already judging and even firing some employees over their statements and things they’ve shared on social media platforms. Plus, a lot of companies have started utilizing programs and scripts that keep track of the work you’re doing on a computer, anyway.
Who’s to say that some employers won’t resort to seeking out your Xbox Live Gamertag, PSN ID, Steam username, or other account related to gaming services to see if you’ve logged any gaming activity during what are supposed to be your standard work hours?
It may sound like a bit of a stretch, but, in all honesty, many corporations and even small business owners are going out of their way to further determine the production levels and value of their employees (based on their company standards) through means of snooping to this degree.
So, while Brandon’s viral video of being fired from his job for playing Xbox while ‘on the job’ is a bit of sham – the concept is actually not that far from reality.
These days there are plenty of companies out there that are teetering the lines of invasion or privacy just to improve their bottom lines. It’s a practice that, honestly, should be of major concern – especially from companies that reap billions of dollars in profit every year and hardly want to pay people a livable wage to work.
This isn’t an issue that’s commonplace for just one line of work, either. We can sit here and say that this does or could only happen with work-from-home positions in certain fields, but the sad truth is that mega-corporations in the gaming industry itself (among other industries) employ these same kinds of tactics to keep employees “on task”.
Getting a work at home job as a gamer is a bit risky. I mean, let’s be real, MOST of us are going to want to take 15 minutes to roll through a multiplayer match in our favorite FPS, have an MMO or RPG running in the background we can alt+tab to during downtime, etc.
If you’re highly productive and get the majority of your work done within a reasonable timeframe it doesn’t seem like this should be a huge deal, but, at the same time, when you’re on the clock and being paid for work – you should probably be working – ethically speaking, anyway.
Then again.. most of us work for companies that are making more money in an hour than we’ll see in a lifetime… so it can often feel like we should be asking ourselves “does this company deserve every waking moment of my time at work, anyway?”.
Not to mention we all have co-workers that slack off during company time that aren’t gamers, but just don’t put in the same effort as the rest of us.
It’s also worth mentioning that multiple studies have proven that being allowed to participate in gaming at work has many benefits. Plus, it’s well-known that gaming helps stimulate the mind, improve several areas when it comes to mental development, improves overall mood – among other key areas that actually improve your overall productivity and value in the workplace. Just sayinggggg.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Is it okay to be gaming while working from home? Should you have 100% of your attention solely dedicated to work? Should ANY employer be going to the lengths of checking your online status for console or PC games to find out if you’re gaming during work hours? Let us know in the comments below!