The email came from the boss.

We’re watching you, it told Axos Financial Inc. employees working from home. We’re capturing your keystrokes. We’re logging the websites you visit. Every 10 minutes or so, we’re taking a screen shot.

So get to work — or face the consequences.

“We have seen individuals taking unfair advantage of flexible work arrangements” by essentially taking vacations, Gregory Garrabrants, the online bank’s chief executive officer, wrote in the March 16 message reviewed by Bloomberg News. If daily tasks aren’t completed, workers “will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

Straight-up Big Brother, perhaps, but it’s perfectly legal for businesses to keep an unblinking eye on employees as long as they disclose they’re doing it. Of course, digital surveillance has been used for years on office desktops, yet it seems a violation of privacy to a lot of workers when they’re required to have software on their computers that tracks their every move in their own homes.

Workers at various companies have complained of excesses, but many of them are new to telecommuting, with its temptations of a midday nap or the demands of children out of school. Employers justify going full Orwell by saying that monitoring curbs security breaches, which can be expensive, and helps keep the wheels of commerce turning.

With so many people working remotely because of the coronavirus, surveillance software is flying off the virtual shelves.

“Companies have been scrambling,” said Brad Miller, CEO of surveillance-software maker InterGuard. “They’re trying to allow their employees to work from home but trying to maintain a level of security and productivity.”

Axos spokesman Gregory Frost said in a statement that “the enhanced monitoring of at-home employees we implemented will ensure that those members of our workforce who work from home will continue” to meet quality and productivity standards that are expected from all workers.

Frost declined to comment on whether Garrabrants, one of America’s top-paid bank CEOs in 2018, is subject to the same monitoring when he works from home.

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