The Growing Trend of Workplace GPS
GPS tracking is now quite popular, thanks to more affordable technology. Over one third of 1,000 US employees have actually been tracked by GPS in a workplace—but how they feel about the experience can actually be surprising.
GPS Tracking: Perception vs Reality
Employees feel differently about being tracked at work with GPS devices. Of those that haven’t been tracked at work, 16 percent have positive opinions regarding the technology, while 38 percent have negative opinions.
Meanwhile, for those who have been tracked using GPS technology at work, an overwhelming 54 percent have positive opinions, while only 5 percent think of it negatively.
Is GPS Tracking Illegal?
Employees who have and have not had experience in GPS tracking expressed concerns regarding privacy after hours at 46 percent and 66 percent, respectively. However, it is alarming that some employees who have been tracked with GPS are being monitored 24 hours a day, which is illegal in all 50 states.
Additionally, about 30 percent also said that they were not sure exactly when tracking stopped for the day.
While there is a margin of error for actual numbers, at least 45 percent of employees who had been tracked with GPS believed that they were tracked 24/7 while others remain unsure of the hours when their employers are looking into their personal lives.
One in five employees also noted that tracking can be switched on by their employers without warning.
Top Employee Concerns
Asked about their concerns regarding GPS tracking in different categories, employees who have had experience being tracked by their employers were significantly less concerned than those who did not undergo the same scrutiny.
Nothing to Hide
Concerns regarding GPS tracking in the workplace have employers assuming that their employees’ resistance come from the fact that they have something to hide; however, data showed that it is not actually the case.
In fact, those who have not had any experience with GPS tracking are concerned about their data drain, while those who have known GPS tracking are concerned about battery drain.
How Much Data and Battery Does GPS Use?
Only about 9 percent of all employees surveyed cared about the data or battery life when using apps, which is surprising considering how much of it we use over Facebook and SnapChat. GPS tracking devices actually use far lesser data compared to these social networking apps.
Battery and data drain can be confusing, which is why it is also important to make sure that employees know what they’re in for, especially over data and battery usage.
Privacy Problems? Not Really
In social media networking like Facebook or a GPS tracker set by the employer, location services can be optional. Many people allow tracking for Facebook and Snapchat, among other sites, but for many, using GPS is only necessary if the app requires you to do so, like Google Maps, Waze, and Uber.
Still, business owners and managers may be able instill more confidence in their employees if they are able to explain GPS tracking more efficiently, after all, security and trustworthiness are among the important factors in considering such action.
Evolving Attitudes Toward GPS
Today, seven out of ten employees are no longer concerned about their employers knowing their location. GPS in the workplace is not as scary as they thought once was. After all, it was clear that using personal data and batter life for workplace tracking posts a far more pressing issue than their employers knowing where they are at all hours.
Employees React to Workplace Tracking
Nearly half of employees spoke with managers and union reps about GPS tracking when it was announced that it will be proposed for the workplace. The other 45 percent either did nothing or kept their complaints between co-workers, while 6 percent either threatened to quit—or did.
With this, it is clear that employees are willing to talk about GPS tracking, so taking a proactive approach by setting up Q&A sessions or actually talking to them could make all the difference in this impactful transition.
The Upside of GPS Tracking
Employees who have experienced workplace tracking rated the benefits to using the tech in their during work hours 15 percent better than those who were asked but were not able to use GPS tracking for themselves. However, it seems that both groups saw the benefits in the same light. Greater accuracy, accountability, and practical aspects like tracking mileage are among the biggest benefits, according to employees.
Using Personal Apps
Many employees are unfamiliar with workplace tracking; however, they did mention that they would feel comfortable being tracked while on the clock. Around 60 to 65 percent of employees were comfortable with using GPS-enabled apps like Facebook and Google.
A low 5 percent refused to let a personal app track their location, while 38 percent didn’t feel good at the thought of workplace tracking. Those who already had experience in using GPS tracking are found to be more comfortable with the technology as a whole – and are 10 to 20 percent more likely to use other GPS-enabled apps.