Examining the Use of Workplace Sensors- A Second Look

3477601702_765d0c9504_nIn a January blog post, we discussed social sensing technology in the workplace. Ben Waber of Sociometric Solutions was interviewed by Businessweek.com about the use of sensors to look at such factors as tone of voice, how much you interrupt and how quickly you speak to see if it correlates with productivity. There was such a strong response to the issue that we would like to share a few more opinions by Zintro experts.

Todd Antonelli has more than 25 years of global experience in delivering and leading successful consulting practices. Two areas he has focused on are performance measurement and technology implementations. “Workplace sensors would ideally work for customer service oriented companies as well as employee or intracompany communications.”

As an organizational expert with professional roles in healthcare, health insurance, and pharmaceuticals focused on the people and process-sides of business change, Eroco Gabriel has another perspective. “In the 21st century, talk is work. So why not use sensors to measure who’s talking to whom about what. Yes, privacy is a huge constraint. Yet in an organization where trust is established, (the key to implementation), and where managers and employees have the choice whether or not to opt-in, measuring communication patterns via sensors differentiates those organizations who want to improve human performance from those who want to remain mediocre. How are we to understand communicating-at-work and what works and what doesn’t in the 21st century if we don’t measure it in real-time? Kudos goes to Ben Waber of Sociometric Solutions for leading the way into a new realm of understanding.”

Axel G. Anaruk is a business development and systems engineer consultant. He has performed multiple capture management roles on international and domestic pursuits and developed markets for new technologies. Anaruk also has significant business development military experience.  “I have been involved, at one level or another, with a number of DARPA or military service lab research programs that make use of the non-traditional (new sensors or sensors put to new uses) to gather metrics related to social issues,” explains Anaruk. “In general the earlier attempts to conduct this research met with fairly wide-spread concern among the study population for privacy reasons. As time moved forward and the research observables and derived metrics were shown to be put to benign purposes and the trustworthiness of the study sponsors was shown, resistance became measurably less.”

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