The Quantified Workplace: How the Internet of Things will Impact Work in the Future

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The Quantified Workplace: How the Internet of Things will Impact Work in the Future

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Publication Paper in proceeding
Title The Quantified Workplace: How the Internet of Things will Impact Work in the Future
Author Russo, Nancy L
Research Centre Internet of Things and People Research Centre (IOTAP)
Date 2015
English abstract
In the workplace, IOT technologies were initially used in a manner analogous to their use in smart homes, controlling lighting, heating and cooling and monitoring energy usage. Location-based sensors, including RFID, are used to track the movements of employees, and can interact with the lighting, heating and cooling controls. Traditional electronic performance monitoring data (computer use, audio and video monitoring) can be used in conjunction with other data captured by IOT devices. IOT technologies are being tested for use in training (McGowan, 2015), injury prevention (Kortuem et al., 2010), promoting cohesion (Kirkham et al., 2013), space utilization and employee interactions (Mathur et al., 2015a) and security and surveillance (Miorandi et al., 2012). The consumerization of workplace technology (Harris et al., 2012), wherein employees bring their personal smart phones and health monitors into the workplace, has made it very easy to monitor employee's locations and activities. Already in 2011, over 40% of the devices used to access business applications were the users’ personally owned devices (Gens, et al., 2011). The driver of this trend is the workers themselves, possibly because increased accessibility gives workers a sense of autonomy and flexibility that outweighs the downside of increased work demands outside of work hours (Cavazotte et al., 2014). In some organizations such as BP and Autodesk, fitness tracking devices are provided to employees as part of the corporate wellness program (Nield, 2014). These programs focus on helping people to prevent illnesses or improve health through their behavior, and may also monitor stress levels to manage mental health (Mirarchi et al., 2015). “The potential economic benefits to an organization such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, increased stress tolerance and improved decision-making, as well as the physical and mental health benefits for employees, means that there is a strong business case for using the workplace as a vehicle for health promotion efforts of this kind” (Kries & Brodeker, 2004, as cited in McEachan, et al., 2011, p.1) While the use of IOT technologies in the workplace may appear benign, concerns have been raised regarding the potential for abuse. Having one's location and personal interactions and communications tracked by a Quantified Workplace system may be considered a breach of both work-environment privacy and solitude privacy as defined by Ball et al. (2012). Monitoring and routinization of work processes may have a negative impact on employee work life (Carter et al., 2011). “At a minimum, we can speak of declining welfare for workers and the associated regime of total mobilisation and surveillance corrode workers’ health and safety, creating anxiety, burnout and overwork” (Moore & Robinson, 2015, p. 8). The accessibility of data from multiple sources, such as GPS, email, social media and personal devices, allows employers to combine data on behavior at work with other information, search for patterns, and draw conclusions which reflect information that the employee chose not to share her employer (Holtgrewe, 2014).
Conference
4th International Workshop on the Changing Nature of Work (December 11th, 2015 : Ft Worth, TX, USA)
Language eng (iso)
Subject IOT
quantified workplace
Technology
Research Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/28160 Permalink to this page
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