Somebody’s watching you — and it’s your boss

WASHINGTON – Modern technology may make it easier for your boss to watch your every move.

A company called Sociometric Solutions, Inc. offers iPhone-sized badges that can collect information about movement and conversation patterns, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The badges were used last year on 30 sales employees at a pharmaceutical company in Massachusetts throughout a four-week period. When merged with other data like surveys and email traffic, it found employees who interacted in-person with their colleagues were more productive.

A similar test with similar results was done with Bank of America a few years ago, says the Journal. The bank subsequently gave workers group breaks, and productivity rose 10 percent.

Collecting this kind of information can be a sensitive issue, since employees may not like the idea of being tracked. But while such tests can reveal individual trends, they’re typically meant to provide group data.

“It’s not illegal to track your own employees inside your own building,” Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, tells the Journal.

However, Maltby says employers are still likely to want information on individual employees.

For more information about sensor testing, visit The Wall Street Journal.

WTOP’s Alan Etter contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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