Employee Tracking: Yay or Nay?
Myself and a good friend were talking about my job here at Radianse, what I do on a regular basis and the many uses of RFID. I brought up how we use active tags at some Planet Fitness clubs to track employee location and make sure they are completing cleaning schedules. He then mentioned that they use RFID where he works as well; the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, NH. However, they use passive RFID to track equipment, paperwork, and people as well; each of the employee badges has a small, passive chip in it.
“So in a sense, I know I’m being tracked,” he said, “but it’s only when I pass through a certain threshold or room.” Because the tags are passive, they can only track location based on checkpoints, not real-time location. He went on to say that he would love if paperwork and equipment had active tags, so they could know within a few feet of accuracy where something was at any point. But when I asked him about actively tagging employees, he had a different opinion.
“I don’t like the idea of it; of my employer being able to see where I am at any time or how long I’ve been there. It’s not that I’m ever doing anything wrong, but I just think that crosses a line of privacy.” Many people I’ve had this kind of discussion with feel the same way. They aren’t doing anything bad at work or going anywhere that would be a problem if their employer knew the specifics of. Yet for some reason, a lot of employees felt it gave them a sense of distrust.
Perhaps there are some work environments where tracking employees wouldn’t be necessary. At my job, for example, where I’m at my desk 95% of the day. Or maybe my friend at the Shipyard; he has to complete certain projects that require intricate work on parts of the submarines in cramped spaces, meaning if he was actively tagged it might look like he was staying in one place for too long when in fact it is part of his job.
In other settings, like a gym for example, actively tracking employees could be extremely useful. Cleanliness in a gym is extremely important, and with that responsibility being completely on the employees it’s necessary that it is done right. Workers in a gym have many roles they need to fill, like answering phones, interacting with members, sometimes even playing the part of a personal trainer. With so many aspects of the job, sometimes something as simple as cleaning can slip one’s mind. The Radianse system doesn’t track employees hoping to catch them in the act of doing something wrong, but rather to ensure both them and employers that they are spending enough time in an area to adequately clean. It’s a way of proving that a facility has been cleaned, and when this information is shared with members, you can bet they’ll be happier meaning more referrals and renewals.
So what do you think about tracking in the work place? Does it cross a line of privacy, is it good to use in certain settings, or should it be used widely? Let us know by emailing me your thoughts at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
(1) LinkedIn | https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141104183153-3411076-are-you-in-good-with-your-boss-quiz