Employee Monitoring Devices Can Be Found (Or Not) In Many Workplaces: Report

Ever get that creeping feeling that you’re being watched – even at work?

Well, you could be onto something if a new report from Bloomberg has any merit.

Tiny sensors used to monitor employees’ whereabouts have been installed in up to 15 percent of Fortune 500 companies, estimates Bloomberg.

Tracking systems like OccupEye and Enlighted are often implemented throughout workspaces – including under employees’ desks or in meeting rooms – and billed as methods of monitoring a building's lighting and heating.

Amid reports that numerous companies were using the devices last year, employees at the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph found some under their desks and demanded they be removed. Despite this, Bloomberg says they are still being used in many workplaces.

“Most people, when they walk into buildings, don’t even notice them,” said Enlighted CEO Joe Costello, adding that the devices can be concealed anywhere, from under the desk to inside lights to even employee ID badges.

The systems are advertised as tools that promote office optimization, which can ensure a business isn’t wasting money on lighting, heating or air-conditioning in spaces that aren’t being used. The sensors can gather data on how often employees are seated at their desks and can learn when certain spaces are empty, with the end goal allegedly being to cut an office’s energy bill by up to 25 percent.  

The devices can also be used to collect information on employee behavior, like how often they get up to talk to other employees.

This kind of data can apparently be used when redesigning spaces to help staff communicate better – or, you know, to keep tabs on how much your employees are slacking off.

Impromptu office-wide scavenger hunt, anyone?

h/t IFLScience, The Guardian

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