There is a potent convergence of social software, monitoring systems, and metrics-based performance that will change the way many workers experience work. How so? Social software lets us Tweet, post, chat, author, opine, diss, collaborate, find or poke, both in business and non-business realms. We should be better informed, and have quicker access to a galaxy of people who can help us in our professional lives. All good. And we are also leaving behind bread-crumbs of information and data about ourselves: what we say, how we say it, to whom we say it, through which communication devices and channels, how frequently and for what duration we say it, look for it, post it, etc.,. And it is all time stamped.
What happens to this flotsam of data about us? Maybe nothing. Or maybe software systems begin to monitor the amount of time we spend on all of the media in our work lives, in the same way that your phone minutes are measured, your time in an application are measured at work, or your time in the office, or time stamps are captured for your credit card purchases. It isn’t too hard to project when these systems will evolve and become a standard part of your evaluation as an employee. I am employee 6746 with my company, and this week I spent 12 hours outside of the corporate productivity systems. Next we monitor how any of this time tracks back to achieving each of the metrics set for me in my capacity as an employee. Were you more productive meeting business goals? More efficient? If you were effective and efficient, it will be great. But what if you weren’t? Then how will your time invested in the social network be viewed?
Because, sure, knock yourself out as a part of the social network. Or around the virtual water cooler, but in the end, we are working for a company that pays a salary to achieve business goals in a tight and demanding and highly competitive market. Time spent on NFL Fantasy Football will be right there alongside your other timed activities, and when you go into that next performance review, you had better have been a leading scorer, or you are going to end up on the bench, or traded.
Nah, no company would ever build and use such a productivity system, right? Too late: some already are working on one right now. Stay tuned.
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