A Device To track Employees' Every Move At Workplace

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 10, 2014

surveillance

Electronics manufacturer Hitachi has unveiled a new surveillance technology that can track a person’s every movement in the workplace and is a wakeup call for employees. According to the company, the high-tech ID badge known as ‘Business Microscope’ not only tracks an employee’s exact location within the office, but also keeps a record of every staff members they have spoken to, the type of conversations they indulged in and the time duration.

According to reports, the device will also send the employer information on how much time each staff member spends out of their seat - and even how long they have spent in the toilet. The product looks more like an ID badge or business card than a high-tech surveillance device and comprises a set of complex sensors that allow it to sync and interact with other connected devices.

Business Microscope uses senor technology to measure and analyze inner company communication and activities, mentions a Hitachi blog post. For example, it finds out which employees spend their days aimlessly wandering around the office gossiping to friends, and record how often a person speaks in a meeting and report on how much they contribute to group sessions.

The Business Microscope is however not the first-of-its-kind surveillance device to be marketed towards employers for use in the workplace. Several companies have already employed web monitoring software that scans sent and received emails, as well as track activities of employees.

Noted technologist and author Bob Greene however mentions in a post in CNN that the long-term question with these digital tracking devices is that whether companies, in the name of workplace output, will want to risk the morale problems that will inevitably arise among employees who are instructed to wear such devices. “Technology always wins, but victory can come with a price. And if employees bristle and become resentful about being kept on such a short electronic leash that could bring about productivity problems of a different sort. Unhappy workers are not motivated to put in extra effort,” Green says.

However, Hitachi is optimistic as it states the technology has been designed to boost the level of efficiency in the workplace and also enable employers realize and react to problems that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. It would help senior leaders reorganize the workplace to ensure greater co-operation between workers, thereby leading to a better atmosphere, says a company release.