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Day by day, more processes in the
workplace are becoming digitized, in a
phenomenon referred to as the Internet
of Things, or IoT. In what the Business
Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has
deemed the fourth industrial revolution,
more sensors are attached to more
machines, leading to a much larger pool
of data to access.

Companies can now collect and comb through analytics
highlighting everything from employee web activity to the
structural status of machinery, leading to more streamlined
processes across the board.
Like the three revolutions before it, this new integration of
technological innovation brings possibilities for massive efficiency and quality of life improvements. Conversely, the
potential for job disruption, modification and even elimination has grown. This shift is happening on an exponential
level, across the country.
A 2017 report by the BDC showed that of the sample of 1000
entrepreneurs interviewed, almost 40 per cent had at least
partially implemented IoT. Three per cent of that number
had achieved full digital implementation.
With such sweeping changes hitting offices, post-secondary institutions and entering our homes, it's important to
understand the implications and necessary adjustments for
the people working in them, the students enrolled in them
and the citizens using the technology.
Professors Claire A. Simmers, Ph.D., and Murugan Anandarajan, Ph.D., have been studying the growth of the Internet
in different workplaces for the past twenty years. In their
most recent work in 2018, The Internet of People, Things

and Services: Workplace Transformations, the pair collected
research from academic experts about the growing role of
computing power, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The book
covers questions around ensuring career sustainability,
employee data collection and privacy, wasting time websurfing and more.
Simmers notes the largest change she's seen is in the almost complete incorporation of the Internet into our daily
lives. "When we started in 2000, that idea of the interconnectedness of personal life and work life, for organizations,
was not at all," Simmers says. She describes a workplace
where computers were a rarity, localized in nature. The
line between work and home life was clear, with little to
no overlap.
In the Internet 4.0 workplace, and the broader reality of
our lives outside the office, this separation has continually
dwindled, with no end in sight. Veronica Godshalk, PhD.,
wrote a chapter in the book centred around career sustainability and human resources management. To Godshalk,
there are goods and bads to the shrinking separation.
"The Internet allows for us to work 24/7 and in some cases,
it means that our employers may come after us 24/7 for information and things of that nature," Godshalk says, "so it's
going to impact us both positively and negatively."
Godshalk argues that in one sense, the more personalized
the information, the better. With more analytics to comb
through for talent acquisition, performance management,
social behaviour and evaluation, companies can build more
efficient approaches for each individual.
"All of these things are great things that help us to gather
data to learn about ourselves, to provide and receive constructive criticism, and hopefully to retain our employees
and help them to be healthy and well," she says.
According to the website AnalyticsinHR, people analytics is
the process of organizations using all of this newly available data to find out valuable answers to otherwise difficult
questions. Plans to deal with problems of employee turnover and regretted loss would become more accurate and
efficient. Additionally, the analytics can better determine
who might soon leave a company.



ASET Spring 2020

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