Skip to main content

Workplace Trends: Emotional Surveillance Systems

Forget emoticons, people. Technologists have created an "emotional surveillance system" that allows management to track employees' trending emotions. All I can say is :(-.

Microsoft's social networking platform Yammer now includes a feature that captures and averages the emotions in employees' online postings so management can see how morale is trending today. They are happy! They are sad. They are angry! They are content. They are hot 'n cold and changing their minds like a girl changes clothes!

As Technologyreview.com reports:

The feature, called Crane, was developed by startup Kanjoya, which makes software that does the emotion recognition and logging, with close collaboration with Yammer. Once the feature is switched on for a company's Yammer network, it offers managers a view of the "trending emotions" within a company, using a line graph to show the level of excitement, confusion, and other feelings over time. The topics or words most often associated with those feelings are also shown. The software is able to identify 80 distinct emotions, but it condenses those into 15 for display and shows only the most prevalent ones to reduce the complexity of the interface.
One thing Yammer's e-EQ system can't gauge, however, is humor. So your jokes and sarcastic wit could very well go unnoticed as the many moods of Binky are averaged throughout the work day. It's a real bummer for employees who work really hard on their witty comebacks. Maybe version 2.0 will finally get a sense of humor and stop categorizing sarcasm as a "positive" emotion.

The feature doesn't track individual employees, but it can analyze a company's emotional "influencers" who are able to sway team opinion. This person will probably be your co-worker who is always cranky and complaining about this, that or the other all day long, since this employee tends to be the most emotional and does the most talking. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say. Or at least he or she might stand out on the company's emotional surveillance system?

There might be a few benefits to online emotional surveillance -- namely, if employees overall are trending high on the anger, confusion and disillusionment scales, then management can do something about it. But what will management do? Something? Nothing? Too much? Too little? Tracking employees' emotional states, but doing nothing to alter the negative emotions, could make morale worse instead of better. Management knows we're upset and it's doing NOTHING about it!

Microsoft is apparently trying out the e-EQ system, which might help since morale there appears to be in the toilet over an entirely different set of metrics. But what does it mean for non-Microsofties? Will this technology spread like a STD to infect other work sites? And what are the legal risks for employers who pare down work teams trending high on the "confused" and "angry" scales? Without some advance management planning, these emotional surveillance systems could turn out to be more annoying than a yammering Kanye West tweet. For now, I'll just feel subtly creeped out.

Comments

  1. Find business security and business surveillance products from DIS Group. Get expert advice, a free safety and security review, and security products. Your safety and security needs will be met with DIS Group’s Security System’s reliable service and latest technologies.

    Please Visit: Philadelphia

    ReplyDelete
  2. No matter what you have done at the end it shows the meaning of your work..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good article. I've been reading your posts for a while now and always enjoy them.
    home security systems reviews

    ReplyDelete
  4. So far i know CCTV, video surveillance system and many security cameras to monitor our home and business. In this article, an emotional surveillance system is somewhat new and different.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Security cameras surveillance system that are equipped with motion sensors give them the capability of detecting movements. Even the slightest movement can trigger these motion sensors to start the video recording process.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…