Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Actually Existing Dystopia

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Tesco — the company that runs a chain of grocery stores across Great Britain — uses digital armbands to track the performance of its warehouse staff.

Tesco representatives said the devices allow users to switch into a “break mode” for up to 25 minutes a day. But that anonymous employee claimed that using the toilet without logging the trip as a break would result in a surprisingly low score, even if the task was finished within the allotted time.

That’s just one of the many ways that employers are using technology to track employee productivity. Call centers have long used metrics such as call time to rank employees, and gamification software may take it to new levels. Darpa wants to track soldiers’ health. Apparently, IBM has a tool for detecting disgruntled employees. And Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has boasted of a “Chatterlytics” system for ranking employees on their use of the company’s internal social network.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

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