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Woman fired after company uses keystroke technology to track her working from home output

Woman fired after company uses keystroke technology to track her working from home output

One woman's 18-year career at an Aussie insurance company came to an abrupt end after her work was monitored.

The pandemic has changed the way we work, and many of us are now used to logging on at home - at least part of the time.

While some find it a useful way of getting your head down without the distractions of office gossip, that's not always the case.

After all, there's plenty to get done at home - from putting a load of washing on or even settling down for a cheeky game on your console.

Suzie Cheikho was fired after keystroke technology had a look at how much work she was actually doing.

However, one Aussie woman has fallen foul of working from home - and was fired from her job after her boss took a close look at how much she was actually doing by monitoring her keyboard typing strokes.

Consultant Suzie Cheikho was let go from the Insurance Australia Group (IAG) - one of the biggest insurance companies in the country - after it said she had missed deadlines and meetings, had been difficult to contact and had cost the company a fine after failing to complete a task.

Cheikho - who had worked at IAG for 18 years - was supposed to create insurance documents, hit regulatory timelines and keep an eye on 'work from home compliance'.

IAG knew Cheikho wasn't doing her job properly through keystroke technology - which checked just how much work she was actually doing.

It monitored her work for 49 days between October and December 2022 - with pretty awkward results.

The review found Cheikho started late on a whopping 47 days, finished early on 29 - and on four days she was found to have done nothing at all.

Even on the days she was working, Cheiko was accused of doing not very much at all - on average, she typed on her keyboard 54 times an hour.

The FWC said she had 'serious and real' reasons why her workload had dropped off but dismissed her application for an unfair dismissal.
Oscar Wong/Getty Images

However, Cheikho didn't agree with the report and said she did 'not believe for a minute' that the data generated by keystroke technology was accurate, telling her managers she had 'never not worked'.

She said she was 'confused and shocked' by the data, and explained that personal issues had affected her mental health, which in turn could have impacted her work.

She alleged that she had told her managers whenever she left her desk for a medical appointment - while also claiming she made up the time afterwards.

Cheikho ended up making an unfair dismissal claim against IAG - which Australia's Fair Work Commission (FWC) rejected after it was judged that there was a 'valid reason of misconduct' to let an employee go.

In the ruling which dismissed her claims of unfair dismissal, FWC deputy president Thomas Roberts said he had 'little doubt that the factors underlying the applicant’s disconnection from work were serious and real'.

He said it was a 'regrettable' situation and noted her 'long period of satisfactory service' before being dismissed but felt like it was 'not harsh, unjust or unreasonable' for her to be fired.

The news put the spotlight on Cheikho - not in the best way - and in August she posted a TikTok video addressing her "haters".

"If you don't like what I do but you watch everything I am doing you're still a fan," she said.

Cheikho told Daily Mail Australia she struggled to get a job since the story broke, and was making money from social media - while also raising awareness for mental health.

Featured Image Credit: LinkedIn/Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty