Smart, digital technologies enable companies to improve. For example, by installing smart electricity meters, a company can improve their electricity consumption. Smart electricity meters connect to the internet and give real-time data about consumption, enabling companies to improve their ‘electricity use behavior’. Saving electricity, means companies will save money too, thus improving their bottom line.
Another way smart meters can also help companies improve their bottom line, is by taking advantage of discount offers from electricity providers to use electricity during off peak times. The electricity providers can calculate off-peak times accurately from the real-time data coming from all the internet connected smart meters.
GPS is another smart digital technology that has enabled companies to improve. We all know how GPS can improve everyone’s lives by enabling us to navigate our way around the streets.
Companies with mobile workforces, can not only improve with GPS navigation helping employees get around, but GPS can also be used for tracking.
Tracking the location of mobile employees, often with GPS, whether by vehicle, smartphone or both, has gone way up lately. According to studies, 62% of organisations that have roaming workforces keep records of their employee’s movements.
New research in Australia has found that one in three people are being tracked by their employers, and many don’t even know it’s happening. The most common form of tracking is GPS in vehicles, but many workplace apps are being used nowadays to track employees. The research showed more than half of people being tracked were concerned it was happening after work hours, compromising their privacy. Other concerns by employees were that the workplace apps they have to use for tracking, uses up too much data, and drains phone batteries. Some people are so much against GPS tracking, that 17% said they would quit or threatened to quit if GPS tracking was introduced.
Tracking the movement of employees with GPS, can be illegal in some countries, states and territories. Like most new technologies, the lawmakers haven’t kept up, and there are many inconsistencies in laws everywhere. For example in one state in Australia, if the surveillance of work vehicles is not compliant with the Work Surveillance Act, it is deemed to be ‘covert surveillance’ and illegal unless authorised by a magistrate ... and any evidence that may have been obtained using covert surveillance will not be able to be used in any subsequent proceedings — example to defend an unfair dismissal claim.
But at the same time, if you are “on work duty” your boss by law has the right to know where you are. Employee location tracking on it's own can provide improved worker security and safety, especially when managing evacuation procedures during an emergency. In addition, tracking worker locations can enable many other workplace applications with a wide range of benefits including improved productivity, increased safety, and reduced costs.
So it seems that employees are more concerned about privacy and less likely to see the safety and security benefits of being tracked. Tracking employee hours is also a necessary part of working.
So if tracking is crucial for workplace safety and security, and employees distrust GPS as a tool for tracking, and if GPS for tracking is illegal in many cities, states and countries, what can a company do to track? The answer is simple – ‘track by smart locks’.
Connected smart locks in workplaces, can show who is where at what time. Unique unlimited digital keys can assigned to individual employees, and all movements can be stored in a log (e.g see log below in Digital Keys Management Platform).
Managers can be notified in real-time with messages when an employee arrives on site, or as they move around sites. Smart locks also act as a time-card punch in system, knowing the exact second an employee arrives on site, so there can be no disputes. Smart locks can track when an employee leaves a site, and when they arrive at another site. So are you a company that should improve your workplace by installing smart locks?