Advanced technological tools are beginning to make it possible to measure and monitor employees as never before, with the promise of fundamentally changing how we work — along with raising concerns about privacy and the specter of unchecked surveillance in the workplace.
Through these new means, companies have found, for example, that workers are more productive if they have more social interaction. So a bank’s call center introduced a shared 15-minute coffee break, and a pharmaceutical company replaced coffee makers used by a few marketing workers with a larger cafe area. The result? Increased sales and less turnover.
Comments by David Weissman:
“As long as the employer discloses to its employees that this kind of monitoring is taking place, I don’t see a problem with it. That said, I can see how employees might feel that being constantly monitored is overly invasive. Still, employees who don’t want to subject themselves to this kind of scrutiny are free to leave and work elsewhere. If enough good employees leave the company as a result of this kind of thing, the employer then might want to re-think whether it makes sense for its business.”