Improving productivity or big brother surveillance?

Is this a clever way to improve productivity or a big brother surveillance system creeping into corporate life?

Humanyze, a technology company, produces devices which monitor the activity of employees and one of the more well known companies that has used it recently is Deloitte in Canada where volunteers in their St John’s, Newfoundland office wore the devices which are like oversized ID cards.

According to Humanyze their “social sensing platform” uses a variety of sensors and is capable of capturing face-to-face interactions, extracting social signals from speech and body movement, and measuring the proximity and relative location of users.

They combine these with other data sources such as electronic communications, objective productivity metrics, and spatial analysis to provide insights on how complex work gets done in the modern organization.

CBC Canada reported that the Deloitte team in Newfoundland were changing from a traditional cubicle office layout to an open concept space and the Humanyze badges were used to measure how well employees were performing in the new layout.

The participation by the Deloitte staff was optional and they were provided with contracts that made them the owners of the data.

All the information was collected anonymously and the employees were given personalised dashboards that showed their performance benchmarked against their colleagues.

Silvia Gonzalez-Zamora, an analytics leader at Deloitte said that “The minute that you get the report that you’re not speaking enough and that you don’t show leadership, immediately, the next day, you change your behaviour. It’s powerful to see how people want to display better behaviours or the behaviours that you’re moving them towards.”

So, is this a clever use of technology or the first step towards big brother monitoring?

Either way, I guess it may help identify the office winner of the “who spends the most time in the toilet award”…

Deloitte's new US CEO used to make up stories to leave early.

Very many congratulations to Cathy Engelbert. Cathy is the first female CEO of a major accounting firm in the US. She’s been appointed as the[..]

This EY partner has been a bit naughty.

Well it seems like an EY partner was working late with a client and it was more than the audit files that they were reviewing.[..]
(Un) Happy Christmas Mr Orangutan
Advertising can have a dramatic impact on what people buy and in countries which celebrate Christmas, one of the busiest buying seasons is upon us.[..]
Legal issues for the Big 4
If you ask a person in the street the question “What do the Big 4 do?”, the chances are that you’ll either get a funny[..]
Don’t sweat your exams
Most people enjoy it when the weather gets warmer. Sunny weather often makes people happier but some recent research indicates that a heatwave may not[..]
#problemswithreturns
It’s common knowledge that high street shops are struggling. A number of household names have gone (or are going!) out of business and one of[..]
Step on it...
You probably haven’t heard of Klaus Maertens but I reckon that most of you will have seen what he started. Klaus was a German soldier[..]