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Bosses using private investigators to ensure employees really are working from home

Bosses using private investigators to ensure employees really are working from home

lena Semenova/iStock(PHOENIX, Ariz.) — With millions of Americans now working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be tempting to slack off a little and, say, leave the house in the middle of the work day for a round of golf.  After all, it’s not like your boss is gonna know — right?

Don’t be so sure.  As KNXV in Phoenix, Arizona reports, some area employers are paying private investigators to verify that stay-at-home workers really are staying at home.

Dorian Bond, who runs Bond Investigations, Inc. with franchises in the U.S. and Canada, says he’s seen a spike in calls from employers who suspect some workers may be using time at home as paid time off.

“If I get the call, usually, [the company] is pretty sure it’s happening,” says Bond.  “[T]hey just need the documentation evidence so, when they decide to go with the termination, they have the proof.”

Take, for example, the recent investigations in which he caught employees who were golfing, or boating on a local lake, when they were supposed to be at home working.  Bond’s company also made an unexpected discovery during another investigation.

“A top executive was having a relationship with a subordinate and they were ‘Zooming’ from the same house but in different rooms,” said Bond, referring to the popular video conferencing app, Zoom.

Bond’s also got some advice for anyone who may be tempted to treat working from home as a vacation.  He says think of it as an opportunity to show your employer just how much you can get done from home. 

[T]he company’s going to know how the employees acted during this period of time and then when it’s time for review,” says Bond, they’re gonna ask, “was that person available to work when they needed it?”

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