The power of technology to change how we work

An extraordinary video has emerged of a London Underground worker who was filmed yelling at an elderly passenger (non-UK readers will not be able to see the video but it might be available elsewhere online). The employee has since resigned.

The incident happened on the day after Transport for London announced a price rise, which couldn’t have been great timing. That aside, it is interesting how quickly this story got out and how the instinctive reaction of a fellow passenger was to film the whole event, presumably on his mobile phone.

The quick dissemination of the message goes to the heart of all sorts of questions on the way we work: if you have a public-facing position, don’t expect that you can get away with anything because someone might be watching (though, London Underground are well covered with closed circuit television cameras – one assumes that if his bosses had seen him on their own footage, they would have been less than pleased but a colleague apparently “laughed and walked away” ); consumers/the public see themselves as more than mere clients – they are stakeholders, and the passenger who took the video claims that part of his motivation was the fact that it had happened on the day after the price increase.

About the authors

Stefan Stern writes a column on Tuesdays on management. He is winner of the 2010 Towers Watson award for excellence in HR journalism, and has previously won awards from the Work Foundation and the Management Consultancies Association.

Ravi Mattu is the editor of Business Life, the FT's management features section, and a former editor of the Mastering Management series. He joined the FT in 2000 from Prospect magazine

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