The Daily Telegraph is now monitoring when journalists are at their desks

It may be the grimmest newsroom innovation since the morgue.

Earlier today, journalists at The Daily Telegraph filed into their newsroom to discover the paper's bosses had installed devices that monitor heat and motion to determine whether employees are sitting at their desks, according to BuzzFeed UK. The sensors, which carry the vaguely Orwellian brand-name "Occupeye," feed that information to a central hub where corporate overlords can determine whether individual drones are hunched over their keyboards.

You may be thinking the devices are meant to guarantee Telegraph journalists spend the whole day writing pithy pieces for the Web rather than, you know, going out into the real world and talking to people. But not so, according to the company:

Shortly after BuzzFeed News contacted the newspaper for comment, an email was sent to all staff explaining that the sensors will be in place for four weeks and are an environmental measure designed to “make ​our floors in ​the building as energy efficient as possible” while reducing “the amount of power we consume for heating, lighting and cooling the building at times of low usage” as part of the Telegraph’s commitment to green energy measures. The data would be used to monitor broad areas within the office for energy usage, it said.

The sensors may have a short lifespan at The Telegraph. Employees have raised a stink, and the company's human resource office is "frantically rowing back on it," according to BuzzFeed UK.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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