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Personal data will be used to improve employee engagement, predicts report

New technology has been behind some of the biggest developments in the way we work and do business - and many see it as the main driver of change over the next five to ten years too.

Respondents to an international survey from PwC of 10,000 workers saw technology as more influential for the future than resource scarcity, demographic changes, and the economy.

Data profiling of employees

Among the predictions made in the report 'The Future of Work: A journey to 2022' was an increased use of data profiling of employees - in much the same way information is used by companies to tailor products to customers' wants and needs.

The data would be used by employers to understand their workforce better, improve productivity and engagement, and reduce sickness absence.

The report said that employers would use sensors to check the location and performance of their staff, and monitor health in real-time, while offering 'proactive health guidance and treatment'. Such monitoring may 'even stretch into their private lives', it said.

Future 'contracts' with employees would be defined by handing over such data in return for job security, the report predicted.

More acceptable to younger workers

Almost a third of respondents said that they would be happy for employers to have access to their personal data, with that degree of surveillance being most palatable among younger age groups.

An analyst from PwC said that key to the success of employee data profiling would be 'developing measurable benefits for those who hand over their data and building trust through clear rules about how data is acquired, used and shared'.

Acas publications and services

Acas can help your organisation find effective ways to integrate new technologies and Social media in the workplace into the workplace, and help you set appropriate standards of behaviour; see Social media and how to develop a policy for more information.

Practical Acas training on Staff surveillance helps you navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by new technologies, and their effective management both for good employment relations and legal compliance.

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