Companies Utilising Mood Monitoring Technology: Invasive or Good for Business?

HR teams from a company in Germany are taking employee well-being to the next level. Advances in human capital metrics that will enable companies to keep track and monitor an individual’s mood and intervene when well-being is at risk which can in turn affect productivity in the workplace.

That is why organisations are looking to invest in employee mood tracking as a method to boost engagement and, as a result, departmental, or company-wide growth.

Proven benefits of mood monitoring:

  • “Unhappiness patterns” can be preempted using proactive measures.
  • Triggers for “bad employee mood levels” can be identified and avoided.
  • Mood levels can be leveraged for improved productivity across all levels of employment.

Researchers have established a piece of wearable technology that collects data on an employee’s cognitive performance and mood, as well as stress, how much physical activity the individual is doing during the working day and can even monitor sleeping patterns.

The device can provide a quicker and more accurate way of assessing the mood of the team as opposed to conducting written surveys. Perhaps employees would not be entirely honest when writing surveys which raises the issue of ethics and privacy.


Ethics & privacy concerns

Just like other forms of employee data collection, mood monitoring should be governed by regulation. Some level of monitoring is widely accepted in workplaces, with measures such as restricting the websites accessed at work or recording keystrokes.

However, employees should be fully aware of every form of monitoring at work – whether it is merely keystrokes or a bot reading Slack conversations to assess their mood. The data collected via mood tracking (or other monitoring practices) should also only be used with prior employee consent, according to privacy legislation such as the GDPR in Europe.

Dr Jenny Barnett from Cambridge Cognitive explains the benefits of the system for companies in the long run. She states that the device can help individuals to comprehend how small changes in daily factors such as stress, sleep and exercise have an effect on mood and in turn concentration, remembering and make sound business decisions. This can have a great impact for all companies wanting to improve productivity and reduce ad-hoc employee absence.