WSJ: Smile! Your Boss Is Tracking Your Happiness.

WSJ: Smile! Your Boss Is Tracking Your Happiness.

CEOs, want to know the best way to keep your employees happy? Until they’ve seized the means of production and turned your workplace into a co-op or state-owned enterprise, at least? Start here: Pay well. Have good insurance. Give ample vacation and sick time. Don’t discriminate against them.

Not wanting to risk their bottom lines to much, companies are instead asking employees to fill out forms and rate their happiness. From the Wall Street Journal:

Anxious to retain and energize staffers, more companies say they are making employee happiness a priority. The shift has fueled a cottage industry devoted to monitoring, analyzing and improving workers’ moods. It has also raised new questions about whether employee privacy is at risk as companies monitor more of their workers’ behavior.

One of the apps mentioned, Receptiviti, monitors email and Slack messages for negative keywords or phrases, or using “I” more than “we.”

Installed on a corporate system, software like Receptiviti could track literally everything an employee does on their computer at work – even personal messages.

When it comes to tech in the workplace, employees have few rights. If you’re on your work phone or computer, your employer can legally monitor everything you do – email, messaging, the websites you browse, even the Facebook conversation you’re having. This legal protection for them applies even if you’re using your personal phone on company WiFi!

Companies know how to make workers happy – make sure our basic needs are taken care of at the very least. They’d rather spend a few hundred thousand dollars in software.