In an unusual move to encourage employees to return to the office, TikTok, the Chinese short-video-making app, introduced a new tool this month called the MyRTO app (My Return to Office). The tool is used to monitor office attendance and has left many of the company's approximately 7,000 US employees frustrated. TikTok is requiring its workers to be in the office three times a week, with some teams expected to work five days a week.
The MyRTO app tracks employees' badge swipes when entering office premises and requires them to explain "deviations," which are absences on days they are supposed to be in the office. Employee supervisors and human resources staff will analyze the badge swipe data.
Employees have been cautioned that "any deliberate and consistent disregard may result in disciplinary action" and could affect their performance reviews.
The attendance policy has caused frustration and dismay among some TikTok workers. They believe the app and threats of punishment are unnecessary and are causing fear among colleagues.
TikTok's spokesperson, Jodi Seth, stated that the tool is intended to clarify expectations for in-office attendance and improve communication between employees and leaders.
"The ultimate goal of MyRTO is to provide greater clarity and context to both employees and leaders regarding their RTO expectations and in-office schedules, and help foster more transparent communications," Seth explained.
TikTok initially implemented a strict return-to-work policy in October of the previous year as the COVID-19 pandemic began to wane. Employees were warned that if their home address did not match their workplace address, they could be terminated.
Montana becomes first US state to ban TikTok completely; Chinese app says it violates people's right
In a similar move, video conferencing platform Zoom recently announced the end of its work-from-home policy, asking all employees to return to the office for the first time since the pandemic. Zoom has requested that employees living within 50 miles of any Zoom office report to work at least two days a week based on a hybrid model.
Inputs from IANS