Would you wear a tracking sensor in the workplace?

Imagine if all of a sudden, your company was able to track your every move during the work day by sticking a sensor in your ID badge. How much would you hate that? I sure would.

Well, it's happening in a big way and many employees are going along with it. Companies are squeezing sensors into everything from lanyards to office furniture to record how staffers navigate through their day and use office space.

Bank of America asked 90 workers to wear badges for a few weeks with tiny sensors to record their movements and tone of conversations. The results were fascinating: the most productive workers belonged to teams and spoke frequently to co-workers. The bank used the data it collected on human behavior and made some changes such as scheduling workers for group breaks instead of solo ones.

In addition to the bank, other employers also are using the data they collect from tracking their workers to make changes that make the workplace better for employees. Another company that tracked employees learned they retreat to their desks at lunchtime. It used the information and made the lunchroom more inviting.

But the sensors might just be the beginning of a broader trend. Researchers told the WSJ that as companies rethink their offices, many are looking into smart building wired with technologies that show workers' location in real time and suggest meetings with colleagues nearby. That's kind of cool, right?

Of course, as the journal article points out, "There's a fine line between Big Data and Big Brother, at least in the eyes of some employees, who might shudder at the idea of the boss tracking their every move." 

So, would you be willing to have your every move tracked in the workplace if it meant that the findings could lead to workplace improvements?

The Work/Life Balancing Act

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