July 16, 2020
Workers engage with the Internet of Things
The concept of an Internet of Things—connected devices, sensors, controllers, and other equipment—is rapidly evolving. It has certainly moved on apace since the early whimsical hyperbole surrounding an internet-connected coffee machine or the smart refrigerator. Indeed, the IoT is now pervading almost every business sector. Work published in the International Journal of Business and Systems Research has looked at how employees might become more engaged in IoT technology in the workplace.
Sumi Jha of the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), in Mumbai and Preeti Khanna of the School of Business Management at SVKM's NMIMS, also in Mumbai, India, write that "Employee engagement is pivotal to successful commercial and business performance, where engaged employees are the backbone of good working environments where people are industrious, ethical and accountable."
The team has carried out an analysis of human resource management practices and IoT interventions in the context of employee engagement. They also show that in practice, organizations need to continuously realign work practices with IoT to improve employee engagement to the benefit of the various so-called stakeholders associated with that workplace and the business. However, the team's research also suggests that improving IoT engagement and human resource practices may not be sufficient. "The current model indicates the entire roadmap needs to be redesigned to deal with perceptions from the management as well as the user's perspective," the team writes. The point out that the misuse of IoT in the workplace is an important issue that must be addressed.
"It is important to train employees in effective utilization of IoT and reduce the need for constant monitoring," the team concludes, "This will enhance employees' faith in the system and so improve engagement further."