Should I keep track of my employees?

Efficiency and productivity in my business have never been very strong – mainly because I don’t have a business. This has not deterred one company, through the magic of the Internet, from suggesting a better way of managing my vehicles.

It kind of assumes that these vehicles are driven by my employees. Sadly I do not employ anyone either, but this does not seem to have been a factor in their calculations.

Apparently I need vehicle trackers – small devices that enable me to know where my vehicles are at all times. I already have an app that tells me where my wife is, but of course, as I live in Norfolk, this hardly ever works.

But let us leave aside the problem of whether vehicle trackers would function properly in Norfolk and ask how vehicle trackers might affect the morale of my employees.

Apparently, they will enable me to “specifically target those who waste fuel and speed”. Great. Now my employees will not only have to worry about so-called “safety” cameras, they will also have me snooping on them from a distance – and not even painted yellow.

They will also have to concern themselves with how much fuel they’re using – which means that as well as trying to drive safely, they have to carry out complex calculations involving schedules, speed and optimal fuel usage.

The vehicle tracking company also tells me that I will be able to keep pin down “unauthorised use of breaks and overtime”. So my drivers must also factor in how long they can afford to spend in the loo or purchasing a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

I can’t help feeling that, despite the stated advantages of vehicle tracking (less paperwork, fewer breakdowns are two suggestions), my employees would get so depressed at my interference that they would be functioning well below their best and quickly be looking for another, less cutting-edge company to work for.

Employees are not parts of a machine. They work best when the employer trusts what they are doing and allows them to get on with it. Still, I have no doubt that company vehicle tracking will catch on. It’s the kind of thing that’s irresistible to bad managers, and there are plenty of them around.

Happily, I don’t have to worry. I have no employees. I have a wife, but I don’t know where she is.