Labormetrics is one of the trends we closely monitor. It's the use of digital data and analytical tools to analyze, track and improve work methods and performance.
We track this trend for 2 reasons. First, it's clear labormetrics systems are going to be used in most businesses and across most tasks. The ROI on these systems are simply too compelling to ignore.
But we also track labormetrics because it's a bit of a counter trend to the shift towards results oriented work (ROWE), a movement based on providing employees greater freedom and autonomy. Labormetrics is counter to ROWE because in many cases their use greatly reduce employee freedom and autonomy.
The New York Times article Unblinking Eyes Track Employees does a nice job of presenting both sides of this issue. Key quote:
A digital Big Brother is coming to work, for better or worse. Advanced technological tools are beginning to make it possible to measure and monitor employees as never before, with the promise of fundamentally changing how we work — along with raising concerns about privacy and the specter of unchecked surveillance in the workplace.
We're nervous about the potential misuse of labormetrics, but it's clear labormetrics is going to become increasingly common.