By Dr Lindsay McMillan
With Swedish company Epicenter unveiling plans to embed a chip into 150 workers to monitor their work hours, the question that is on everybody’s lips is; has technology gone too far?
The answer is yes.
This new workplace practice is a signpost in a troubling road of unhealthy workplaces in the future and demonstrates the increased role technology is playing in the workplace, especially for younger people.
Whilst technology has undoubtedly increased productivity and connectedness, it seems to be having a troubling impact on work patterns and the ability of workers to switch off from their job.
In fact, our 2016 study of over 1,000 Australian workers found 46% feel technology also brings with it the feeling of being ‘always on’ and unable to completely shut-off from work – and this was taken before microchips became part of the equation.
Work-life balance is vitally important for all Australians and it’s important that ubiquitous technology does not negatively impact on healthy relationships and lifestyles outside of work.
To address this requires a concerted response from employers and industry to change the culture - or it will only get worse.
One key issue is how emerging technologies are contributing to stress - 54 per cent of millennials are currently experiencing technology-related stress.
If microchips to track worker movement is the future for millennial workers, one can only assume this technology-related stress will only get higher.