Are you being watched at work?

Does your boss trust you?

You might say: Sure! I’m a good person. I don’t cheat, or lie, or steal.

But hold on a minute! Have you ever thought that you might be “stealing” your employer’s time, maybe even using company resources?

Isn’t it dishonest to chat on the phone (even your personal phone) on company time? Or to check your Facebook page? What about those long lunch hours?

The Jamaica Productivity Centre points to a steady decline in labour productivity over the past forty years of approximately 1.5 per cent annually. *Wow*

So how can companies stop the productivity slide, and track workers’ performance? One way is through the technology we all love to use.

It’s a big, slightly scary word: Surveillance. Did you know:

  • Globally, about 22 per cent of organizations are tracking employees’ movements (all those bathroom and watercooler trips!).
  • 17 per cent are monitoring work computer usage, according to 2018 study by global research and advisory firm, Gartner. And it’s a growing practice.
  • Companies are using a range of apps and software like Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics.
  • Big U.S. companies like Amazon, Walmart and UPS are developing new technology to figure out what their workers are up to during working hours.
  • A growing number of companies are issuing wearable tech including wristband trackers, sensors and audio tracking, as part of their productivity monitoring efforts.
  • Even microchip implants! Bio-tracking could be a future trend. This is already taking place in China, where some businesses reportedly monitor employees’ brainwaves to detect their emotions.
  • Tech companies are selling devices that monitor web usage, the number of keystrokes you make…and much more.

Two big questions, here.

Could this technology be used outside the workplace? (Yes, it could).

And what about your privacy? (Well, it’s complicated).

Is this happening in Jamaica?

The Jamaica Employers Federation says: “Monitoring of employees’ time spent on sites like Facebook is not widespread as yet.

“But we predict it will become a feature of the Jamaican workplace before too long.”

You have been warned!