Smart devices

Researchers Came up With a System to Track the Performance of Workers

Image source: Brooke Cagle for Unspalsh

Researchers have come up with a mobile-sensing system able to track and rate the performance of workers and it combines a smartphone, fitness bracelets and a custom app.

Researchers called it a mobile-sensing system. The system is able to categorize high and low performers.

With its help, 750 U.S. workers were tracked for one year, and the system was able to make the difference between high performers and low performers with about 80% accuracy.

The main goal of the system is to offer employees insights into physical, emotional and behavioral well-being. If abused, the mobile-sensing system can put employees under pressure by the companies they work for.

Dartmouth University computer science professor Andrew Campbell thinks this is as a positive tool for improving worker productivity.

“This is a radically new approach to evaluating workplace performance using passive sensing data from phones and wearables,” said Campbell. “Mobile sensing and machine learning might be the key to unlocking the best from every employee.”

Also, researchers believe that the technology is able to come up with a more objective measure of performance than self-evaluations and interviews, which they found quite unreliable.

The mobile-sensing system features three distinct pieces, a smartphone tracks physical activity, location, phone use, and ambient light. The fitness tracker monitors heart functions, sleep, stress levels, weight, and calorie consumption. The location provides information on the time spent at work and apart from the desk. With the help of this data, cloud-based machine learning algorithms classify workers by performance level.

According to the study, performers typically had lower rates of phone usage, while having longer periods of deep sleep and improved their physical capacity.

Privacy experts, though, have aised concerns about the practice of tracking employees, which they find highly intrusive. Even so, startups have come up with even more ways to track employees.

WeWork acquired Euclid, a data platform that tracks the identity and behavior of people. At that time, Shiva RajaramanWeWork’s chief product officer told TechCrunch that the platform and its team will become integrated into a software analytics package that WeWork plans to sell to companies that would like to WeWork-ify their own offices.

The system could become available in the next few years, but is unclear if there are designs to try and launch this system as a product.

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