May 06, 2005

Technological Employee Monitoring

RFID-enabled pervasive employee monitoring

Looks like the gang over at Engadget -- to paraphrase a Southernism -- is getting "all het up". A Japanese company, Omron, is using RDIF, video cameras, and security systems to monitor employees and analyze work performance. It's not a new development, per se: employee monitoring has been going on for years.

Half of me wants to scream out that this is offensive as can be, The Man using gadgetry to slap down the little guy -- just as the Engadget guys do:

This new bit of “production management” technology in use by Japanese company Omron aims to squeeze every last morsel of productivity from you peons.
I've heard stories from friends who've worked at companies which used these sort of tags to do phone following (as you walk through a building, phone calls will be routed to the nearest phone to you, making it impossible to get away from your phone) and bathroom break monitoring.

The other half of me asks, if you employ someone, don't you want to get as much productivity out of them as possible? It's definitely a very control-freakish thing for a company to do, but is it any worse than the common things done in companies today? Things like badges for security access and watching what an employee does on their computer?

What do you think? Slap those opinions into the comments section.

Posted by Ted Stevko at May 6, 2005 02:46 AM | TrackBack