Workplace Sociality and WellbeingCurator: Suneel Jethani, University of Melbourne | May 2017
Collection Editors: Andrew Iliadis and Isabel Pedersen
Collection Archivist: Sharon Caldwell
The use of wearable self-tracking devices in the workplace is becoming increasingly prevalent. This collection brings together examples relating to the use of sensor-enabled and data garnering technology that are designed to augment and support workplace sociality, productivity and wellbeing. The challenging thing about the application of wearable devices in the workplace is that they complicate the boundary between technology that is used by individuals to cope with the pressures and demands of work and maintain a healthy work/life balance, and the administration of such technologies for producing organizational norms and as a mechanism of managerial control. With the use of such systems in many workplaces already commonplace, the development of new prototypes and applications sees a distinct commodification of the value that humans ascribe to feelings of self-worth and wellbeing attained through job satisfaction and the positive feeling associated with being able to “cope” with the demands that work places on life. This then raises the question of if wearable technology in the workplace should be considered a human resources issue or a matter of occupational health and safety, and further, as to if such technologies could legitimately play a role in the enacting or worker agency and dissonance in the age of worker tracking and metrification.