woman in sweater drinking coffee with caption 'the chill manager who definitely isn't tracking your time' (l & r) another woman holding a mouse with a device and a plug (c)

@adriannarebekah/TikTok

‘This is so dystopian y’all’: TikToker urges people working from home get a ‘mouse jiggler’ to make it seem like they are working, sparking debate (updated)

'As a manager, I don't track my staff.'

 

Brooke Sjoberg

IRL

Posted on Mar 3, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 10:01 am CST

During the pandemic and the rise of employees working-from-home, people have gotten creative with all of the ways they can trick their computers into showing that they are online in a virtual workspace, like Microsoft Teams.

The latest method, according to a viral TikTok, is a mouse jiggler.

“If you work from home, you need a mouse jiggler,” @adriannarebekah says in her viral video that has garnered 10.4 million views. “It jiggles your mouse to make it seem like you’re working when you’re not working. It plugs into the wall discreetly so it cannot be tracked by your computer or your boss or your company. Never go yellow on Teams again. Go ahead and live your best life, do your thing.”

She goes on to say that the most compatible mouse for use with a jiggler is going to be the smaller, bluetooth variety.

Some commenters who claimed to be in managerial positions criticized the type of boss that would micromanage their employees’ time to the degree that they felt they needed to purchase a mouse jiggler.

“As a WFH manager, if y’all are watching your people that close you need a new job,” one commenter wrote.

“As a manager, I don’t track my staff, they are all adults and their productivity and completed goals is what matters to me,” another wrote.

One called it “dystopian” and another blamed “late stage capitalism.”

“I do the job I am paid to do. Not extra. Therefore I need that mouse,” another said.

Other commenters shared their own jiggler-free hacks for appearing active in their work.

“Y’all can just go to notes or words and hit space or keep coins on space lmao, no need to spend so much money,” one commenter wrote.

“Girl, or just grab something heavy, open word doc, then place the heavy thing on a keyboard and it’ll type forever lol,” another commenter wrote.

Still, some commenters saw the jiggler as an unnecessary way out of doing one’s job.

“Orrrrr…stay with me here…crazy idea….do your job!!!” one commenter wrote. “I know! Insane!”

“Or I got an idea just do your work that (you’re) getting paid for?” another wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @adriannarebekah via email regarding the video.

Update 9:00 am CT March 7: In a statement to the Daily Dot, the TikToker explained how she came to use the mouse jiggler.

“I’ve been working from home for two years now, since the pandemic, she said. “In my first work from home job, I was in a micromanaging type of work environment. I googled ways to counteract this issue because most work from home jobs either use Skype Teams or Microsoft Teams, every 15 minutes, if you are not active on your computer, it will show you as away, so you constantly had to be engaged. I looked on Amazon, I read reviews, and I came across the Liberty mouse mover. It was just a means to avoid micromanaging and also increase my quality of life.”

She also responded to the comments about how dystopian the device seemed to be. She said that her motivation in sharing the product was to help people “take back some of their autonomy.”

“The 40 hour workweek was designed to keep us so busy and preoccupied that we can’t resist organize or protest,” she said. “Even in work from home positions, you still have the same dynamics of working in an office of the hierarchy, the pecking order, dealing with micromanaging, bullying. All those dynamics can be inescapable, even in the comfort of your home, and even work from home positions with the price of inflation. Most entry level jobs are barely covering the cost of living”

She argued that if employees finish all of their work, they should be able to maximize the benefit of being home by taking advantage of downtime. She was surprised by the “cognitive dissonance” in the comments from people accusing her of time theft and of taking advantage of her working situation.

“I am queer and second generation Latino American and I make a lot of content centered around culture, diaspora, inequality and colorism, LGBTQ, mental health and wellness content,” she said. “Even though I have made a lot of funny spin off videos, from the original video, my main goal in sharing my content is to help liberate people from multiple axes of oppression.”


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*First Published: Mar 3, 2022, 8:57 am CST