It’s 9.30pm and you’re wide awake, yet swapping the new series of First Dates for an early night. You’re not ill or hung over – just terrified of being scolded by your boss for staying up late. Welcome to a new way of working, where fitted ‘badges’ count each loo break, analyse every email and ruthlessly scrutinise our sleep and exercise routines. Long gone are 4pm lulls spent devouring the latest celeb gossip on Look.co.uk, cooing over videos of kittens or sending the obligatory ‘What shall we have for dinner?’ message to your other half. In fact, you might be better off checking the latter with your boss – she’ll probably have a say on that too.
The wearable devices, created by ‘people analytics’ company Humanyze, use sensors to collect staggering amounts of data – from what time we hit the sack to assessing how well we get along with colleagues. The product is just one in a wealth of tracking devices aimed at yielding productivity. Too shy or too loud, passive in meetings or a serial interrupter, they have the ability to, at best, encourage a more productive version of ourselves or, at worst, showcase our flaws.
It’s easy to see why some employers want to keep tabs on their staff. According to a recent survey, 89 per cent of employees admitted to wasting time at work, with at least four per cent spending half their day on unrelated tasks. Clare Gower, a freelance copywriter,