Worker Monitoring

· January 29, 2019

Forbes have a good piece about how much of the technological change in the workplace is enhancing worker surveilance, specifically around monitoring completion and form of jobs, and breaks. They place this in the context of the famous shirtwaist fire:

The increased employee surveillance facilitated by telemetric vehicles and wristband monitoring exert the same kind of power – and using the same justifications of possible theft and unauthorized breaks – that the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory did when they locked the workers inside the factory.

The removal of agency, the reduced worker mobility, and total lack of skill development available to these workers have a deeply negative social spillover. They significantly cap their productivity and their growth of productivity, which ends up worse for everyone.