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Technology Serving Employer Control


So much technology exists wholly or in part so that employers can control our lives.

However, the wearable technology, called a Moodbeam, isn’t here to monitor your physical health. Instead it allows your employer to track your emotional state.

The gadget, which links to a mobile phone app and web interface, has two buttons, one yellow and one blue. The idea is that you press the yellow one if you are feeling happy, and the blue one if you are sad.

Aimed at companies who wish to monitor the wellbeing of staff who are working from home, the idea is that employees are encouraged to wear the wristband (they can say no), and press the relevant button as they see fit throughout the working week.

Managers can then view an online dashboard to see how workers are feeling and coping. With bosses no longer able to check in physically with their team, Moodbeam hopes to bridge the gap.

“Businesses are trying to get on top of staying connected with staff working from home. Here they can ask 500 members: ‘You ok?’ without picking up the phone,” says Moodbeam co-founder Christina Colmer McHugh.

Boy, it sure is hard to imagine how employers might….not use this to ensure their team members are OK and instead see it is as a way to stop organizing or punish anger or melancholy.

Back in 2017 or so, when everyone was like “Driverless Cars Will Be Here Soon and It Will Be Awesome,” the first thing that came to my mind was that if that actually does happen, the first thing is that employers will begin to extract that time out of you, either by force or by the slow creep that Americans so frequently volunteer for, which is that they will just use that time to get work done instead of, I don’t know, read a novel or something.

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