Can Workplace Surveillance Methods Discourage Potential Employees?

Global survey finds that some workplace surveillance methods, including facial recognition technology, would discourage 64% of people from seeking employment with an organization.

Nearly half (48%) of adults would be less likely to want to work for an organization if it was unclear about or unwilling to disclose the workplace surveillance methods they used, according to a recent survey. Online Spy Shop polled 2,000 adults in the UK, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, France and The Netherlands on their attitudes to and perceptions of workplace monitoring and surveillance. The specific focus of the survey was on “non-standard” methods, discounting standard methods of tracking such as keycard access and CCTV.

workplace surveillance methods
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Two thirds (64%) said disclosure of “non-standard” workplace surveillance methods such as facial recognition technology and mandatory health tracking would discourage them from seeking employment with that organization. Of the two thirds who said that an organization’s approach to surveillance and monitoring could negatively affect their perceptions, the largest deterrent was use of facial recognition technology. For 80%, facial recognition would be a serious deterrent.

The second largest cause for concern was sleep tracking through wearable tech, which is increasing in popularity. Other deterrents for potential employees were sleep tracking, keystroke monitoring, health tracking, and location tracking.

Attitudes to surveillance varied considerably depending on whether the surveillance is optional or mandatory. When surveillance was offered as an optional aid, such as sleep tracking and health monitoring, participants were significantly less likely to be put off.

“Employees are used to a degree of surveillance perceive measures such as CCTV and logged keycard entry as fairly standard,” said an Online Spy Shop spokesperson. “Some employees, especially younger workers, are comfortable with optional, performance-related monitoring, such as wearable health and activity tracking. Where they start to object is when terms and conditions are unclear, or if the surveillance is non-standard and mandatory, for example the use of facial recognition technology. Arbitrary monitoring rightly arouses suspicion and could be denying organizations access to the best talent.”

What workplace surveillance methods and technologies are used in your facilities? How have employees responded to these methods? Have you ever had an employee quit or refuse to work for your organization because of the workplace surveillance methods used? Please share your experience and solutions in the Comments section below.