• Lorri

Technology & Privacy in the Workplace

Smart-building technologies are experiencing unbelievably rapid growth and implementation in commercial premises, and with good reason. Cost benefits, enhancement of employee and customer experience, and energy savings that reduce environmental impact are powerful incentives for corporations looking to save money and position themselves as leaders in technology. The accessibility of smart-building technology has never been greater, with tech leaders like Amazon and Google forging ahead to develop and offer sophisticated building-enhancing systems that transform workplaces into futuristic, science-fiction inspired spaces.

Being Involved with smart building projects of various types, I see a fascinating spectrum of reactions to technology at work. There is a high demand for more technology, faster from a corporate level, and yet paradoxically an undercurrent of “Black Mirror” like resistance at a human level. We seem to have a love/hate relationship with technologies that detect presence, and AI technologies that listen for instructions.

There's no doubt that consumers have a ravenous appetite for smart-building technologies in home and workspaces, but conversely there are those who raise concerns about security and privacy. What if our conversations are being recorded at work? What if sensors can pick us up and determine where we are at any moment? What if my boss is spying on me? What are my rights to privacy in the workplace?

Whatever our opinions, the benefits of technology at work make it an unstoppable force – accessibility, cost, sustainability, and improved employee experience are driving adoption faster than every before – the industry is thirsty for these solutions. But what is holding us back? One of the biggest hurdles we see is human reaction vs. perception to technology at work. Why are people so worried about being spied on and is this really happening? Why do some people assume that this smart building technologies have an underlying diabolical purpose?

Concerns about privacy in this day and age are someone an illusion. Some would argue that we’ve already passed that threshold - there is no privacy, at home, at work, on the street, not anywhere. Data is already collected on our wh