Quality Progress - September 2017 - 10

Wary of Wearables?
continued from page 9

the Stress Management Society. "If we can go into a business and
demonstrate stress is costing, say, £2.1 million ($2.7 million) per year
through staff turnover, productivity loss, absenteeism and accidents,
it's a no-brainer. We can show that investing £50,000 ($65,000) on
well-being can take out 30 or 40% of that cost."⁸

Drawbacks from the devices

But will wearable devices and embedded microchips lead to something more? How long will it be before GPS and what some consider
more intrusive monitoring features are added to the devices?
Ben Libberton, a microbiologist at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, said hackers could conceivably gain huge swaths of information
from embedded microchips. The ethical dilemmas will become
bigger the more sophisticated the microchips become.⁹
"The data that you could possibly get from a chip that is embedded in your body is a lot different from the data that you can get
from a smartphone," he said. "Conceptually, you could get data
about your health, you could get data about your whereabouts, how
often you're working, how long you're working, if you're taking toilet
breaks and things like that." 10
If such information is collected, the big questions remain: What
happens to it? Who uses it, and for what purpose?
Attorney Jason Branciforte, a shareholder at Littler Mendelson
in Washington, D.C., a law firm that specializes in employment and
labor law, said that wearable technology also can have a negative
effect on morale and productivity.11
If workers are required to have a host of devices that can be
distracting, "it lessens productivity, it lessens physical and interpersonal interaction in the workplace," Branciforte said. If the devices
become the focal point of the workplace, rather than the work
itself and collaboration with colleagues, "I think that has a negative

Mr. Pareto Head

10 QP

by Mike Crossen

September 2017 ❘ qualityprogress.com

impact on the workplace," he said.12
If an organization plans to implement wearable technology, it must be sure of its benefit for employees because
"if it's used as a 'big brother' technology, the company
runs a great risk" of alienating employees, Branciforte said.
Employees have long been skeptical of management,
said Don MacPherson, head of global talent marketing for
Aon Hewitt, and if they suspect
they're being tracked or monitored, they will be less engaged Will wearable
devices and
and productive. If the technology is rolled out in a way that is embedded
microchips lead to
"forced" or requires immediate
something more?
compliance, "it can be heavy
handed and employees lose
trust in the organization," Branciforte said.13
In PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) research published
last year, 46% of 2,370 U.K. workers surveyed said they
would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their
employers had access to the data that is recorded. The
main barrier for those workers unwilling to share their
information is data privacy. A total of 40% said they do not
fully trust their employer to use wearable devices for their
benefit. Another 37% said they do not trust their employer
not to use the data against them in some way.14
"Despite more people owning wearable devices, many
people are still reluctant to use them in the workplace due
to trust issues," said Anthony Bruce of PwC. "Employers
haven't been able to overcome the 'big brother' reaction
from people to sharing their personal data." 15
-compiled by Mark Edmund, associate editor
EDITOR'S NOTE
The references listed in this article can be found on the Progress
Report webpage at www.qualityprogress.com.


http://www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - September 2017

Seen and Heard
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
Expert Answers
Field Notes
Data Disruption
The Deal With Big Data
Better Intelligence
A Study in Measurement
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
ASQ's 2017 Quality Resource Guide
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Intro
Quality Progress - September 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - September 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 9
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 13
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 14
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Field Notes
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 18
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Data Disruption
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 22
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - September 2017 - The Deal With Big Data
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 28
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 30
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Better Intelligence
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 36
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 40
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - September 2017 - A Study in Measurement
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 44
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 50
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 52
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 56
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 57
Quality Progress - September 2017 - ASQ's 2017 Quality Resource Guide
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 59
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 60
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 61
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 62
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 63
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 64
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 65
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 66
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 67
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 69
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - September 2017 - 71
Quality Progress - September 2017 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - September 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - September 2017 - cover4
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