Companies using data to track minute-by-minute productivity 

    As workplaces arm themselves with new, more aggressive types of technology to monitor and understand employees, one of the busiest niches is measuring worker productivity, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

    Hospitals are installing sensors to detect nurses’ handwashing practices and their location on the floor at all times. At AdventHealth Celebration in Florida, for example, more than 200 nurses’ whereabouts are tracked to gain a better idea of how to improve productivity and workflow.

    “It’s just like a GPS where they can see where everyone is at any time,” says Patty Jo Toor, vice president of nursing and hospital operations. She says the technology can help coach nurses and isn’t used for punitive purposes.

    ‘If someone’s browsing for five minutes, we’ll see that.—Brian Dauer, director of operations at Ship Sticks

    Restaurants are using software to observe each of their waitstaff’s sales in real-time. Drivers who work for United Parcel Service Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. have their speed patterns tracked to boost efficiency and safety.

    UPS confirmed it uses advanced analytics to sift through data in ways that help it better serve customers and drive efficiency. “Data that doesn’t yield insight is just trivia,” a spokesman says.

    Experts say new ways to mine workplace data help companies better understand their workforce and increase productivity, safety and security. Critics are raising privacy concerns.

    Of companies based in the U.S., Europe and Canada, 22% of employers surveyed say they collect employee-movement data, 17% collect work-computer usage data, 13% collect employee fitness data and 7% keep tabs on the text in employee emails, according to a 2018 Gartner survey. Read the full story. 

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