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What do Australian employees think of GPS tracking in the workplace?

An interesting piece of research on what Australian employees think of GPS tracking in the workplace published by the mobile time sheet application company TSheets. While the sample size is not enormous (500 respondents), there are some interesting results that show differences between perceptions and reality. Of those who had not been tracked, 47% said they viewed it negatively while only 9% of those who had been tracked reported a negative response.

When asked what the benefits GPS tracking in the workplace might be, employees who used the technology scored it much more favourably than those who hadn’t. There was broad agreement about the top three benefits, tracking travel time, improving safety and promoting accountability, but opinion split over whether GPS promotes trust and efficiency. The majority of people who have used the technology said it did. Reportedly almost 60% of employees surveyed said they were worried about how much data a workplace GPS tracking app might use (while just 7% expressed the same concern about an app like Facebook, noted for its data usage).

There are legal implications for employers here as there are notice periods for introducing GPS tracking in some jurisdictions (like NSW and the ACT). More than two-thirds of employees surveyed said they were not given any notice before tracking was introduced. Irrespective of workplace laws, consulting with employees in advance, explaining the benefits and having clear policies constitutes sound business practice.

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