My coworker recently received a FitBit from her boyfriend for her birthday – and being more of a clothes horse than a gym rat, she was less than thrilled. Well, I’m pretty sure she’ll be even more upset if our boss starts handing out these.
While the FitBit and products like it monitor your activity and calories throughout the day, this gadget is the office equivalent. The Hitachi Business Microscope keep tracks of everything you do throughout your workday, from your trips to the water cooler to who you talk to and for how long – even how energetic the discussion is.
The benefit to employers is clear – this gives them a hand-free way to extract maximum productivity from their employees, and easily identify who isn’t pulling their weight. It’s good for business – in theory, at least. But this kind of extreme oversight is bound to have an impact on morale. It takes self-determination and personal accountability – not to mention trust – completely out of the equation and treats employees like children (or criminals) who require constant supervision. It might motivate you in the short term, but it’s the kind of thing that can erode confidence and drive great employees away.
After all, some of the most desirable companies to work for reach that status by offering an outstanding company culture. And that probably doesn’t involve tracking how often you leave your desk. So when you’re considering a career move, think about what motivates you. Then make sure the company you choose to work for offers an environment where you can do your best work.
Here at Nexxt, maintaining our positive, family-like atmosphere is important to everyone, from the CEO on down. (Even if that means doing team-building activities once in a while.) That’s not to say we don’t work hard, but it’s because we feel a sense of accountability to ourselves and our coworkers that isn’t driven by fear. And since this old-school approach seems to be working just fine, I don’t expect to be issued a Business Microscope anytime soon. But I may just get myself a FitBit.