Another pioneering outfit is Sociometric Solutions, which puts sensors in name badges to discover social dynamics at work. The badges monitor how employees move around the workplace, who they talk to and in what tone of voice.
One client, Bank of America, discovered that its more productive workers were those allowed to take their breaks together, in which they let off steam and shared tips about dealing with frustrated customers.
The bank took heed and switched to collective breaks, after which performance improved 23 per cent and the amount of stress in workers’ voices fell 19 per cent.
It seems that last century’s Taylorism has, for some employers, morphed into more invasive forms of employee surveillance.