Tracks return to office with Tiktok tracking tool

At the entrance to TikTok’s headquarters in Singapore, there’s a brightly colored mural on the wall that reads, “Come as you are.”
Roslan Rahman / AFP via Getty Images

  • TikTok is breaking the back-to-office policy with new employee tracking tools.
  • The social utility has implemented a new tool called MyRTO, which tracks in-person office attendance.
  • MyRTO tracks badge swipes and asks employees to explain “deviations” from expected in-person attendance.

TikTok doesn’t just track user locations. Now, it has moved to tracking the location of its employees.

The New York Times The social media giant has announced that it has implemented a new internal software called MyRTO to monitor and enforce its strict return-to-office policy. MyRTO tracks badge swipes employees make when entering the office and asks workers to explain “deviations” from expected in-person attendance, the outlet reported.

After implementing an in-person attendance policy last October requiring US-based employees to come to the office at least three times a week, the company threatened to fire employees who did not match their assigned office address insiders as the coronavirus outbreak subsided. reported earlier.

TikTok has previously faced criticism and has since been banned in several countries for using “Big Brother-style surveillance”. Forbes Byte Dance, its Chinese parent company, has said it plans to use the app to track Americans using GPS information collected by the app. But this week, the company announced to employees that it is rolling out its new internal tracking software, designed to “give both employees and leaders greater clarity and context about their RTO expectations and office schedules, and foster more transparent communication.” Byte told Dance Insider.

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Representatives for TikTok did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Managers across industries are increasingly turning to productivity-tracking software for remote and hybrid workers, including how long users are logged in while working from home and capturing random screenshots of workers’ screens. For those returning to the office, some companies are implementing new attendance-tracking software and using sensors to measure how full offices are and determine when a person is sitting at their desk or using a conference room.

But while CEOs of big-name companies are increasingly promoting back-office policies as the best way to do business — Elon Musk has gone so far as to call remote work “morally wrong” — employees at tech companies are pushing it. The mandates have expressed their displeasure in the form of walkouts and a perk equivalent to an 8% hike to protect the workers’ vision.

“When you allow flexibility, it expands your talent pool,” Prithviraj Chaudhary, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and a remote work expert, previously told Insider.

“Whether the economy contracts or expands, the best workers will always have outside options. So if you have a model of a company that doesn’t offer flexibility to the best employees, some of them — not all of them, but some of them — will be poached by competitors.”

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