The Internet of Things (IoT) has already started to have an impact on everything. So it’s no surprise that it’s starting to show up at the workplace.

Employees are already clocking in while connected to the internet via smart devices that are actively accessing and sharing data. This phenomenon has given employers and Human Resources (HR) personnel a lot to think about.

Right now we have devices like fitness trackers and smartphones with high-speed internet connections and it’s quite easy to fathom how this data can enhance our lives. But by 2020, the predicted 20 billion IoT devices will be generating and sharing a massive amount of data and that can be hard to get your head around.

Our homes, workplaces, and cities are all slowly becoming “smart” and you can expect it to be run by smart devices.

How Can IoT Disrupt HR?

IoT is still in its infancy, so the long-term implications of its impact on HR are still unclear. But employers, HR managers and IT staffing agencies need to start focusing their attention on the potential impact of this phenomenon on the following:

  • Employees
  • HR policies
  • Organization (as a whole)

Automation of the Hiring Process

There’s already plenty of potential to disrupt HR as traditional processes can now be streamlined and automated. For example, these devices can be utilized to plan projects by matching project requirements to personnel in departments in-house or recruitment systems to match the necessary skills and experience of candidates automatically.

Further, these candidates can also be notified of the offer immediately on their mobile devices. This simplifies the hiring or skills matching process and enables project managers to quickly ascertain what’s skills are available and what’s needed.

Optimized HR Management

It can also be taken a step further to use real-time data to optimize staff and workflow management. From something simple like check-in and out times and automated notifications of schedules and project requirements, the potential here is huge.

Further, the complicated process of conducting performance evaluations can become streamlined as IoT can provide real-time data with enhanced accuracy.

As a result, the workplace and enterprise functions have the potential to become highly efficient. As far as business processes go, one way to do this is by incorporating location tracking with geotags to keep track of the inventory and it’s location.

This, in turn, can also save the company money as employees can quickly get to the product and significantly reduce the loss rate (it’s already been utilized at large grocery stores). If “things” and staff are sharing data in real-time, you can also analyze this data to identify who works best and where they work well. As a result, you can essentially match staff to roles that perfectly match their ability to boost productivity.

Workplace IoT and Foreseeable Issues

As technology evolves and IoT devices start communicating even better, there will be more opportunities to delve into enhanced automation and robotics. But as always with smart technology, there’s going to be a concern with regard to privacy and security.

Employee Privacy

If employees are sharing data continuously in real-time, employers are going to know exactly where they are and what they’re doing. This can be quite unnerving for employees and it also has the potential to violate staff privacy.

So these issues need to be addressed by the employer to ensure that employee privacy is always maintained.

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Management of Mobile Devices

All these mobile devices on the network will be difficult to manage, so employers need to quickly devise protocols to manage them effectively.

Further, there will be a huge amount of data to process and analyze on a daily basis, so systems need to be put in place to manage it efficiently.

Security Breach

We have already seen many scenarios where corporate security was breached via email. It’s only going to get more complicated as company data will be automatically accessed and shared among a variety of devices. With so many devices on the network, it dramatically increases the potential of being breached if proper security protocols aren’t followed continuously.

IoT isn’t just going to go away, so the potential issues with privacy and security won’t deter the employers from adopting IoT and the benefits of enhanced automation.

It’s really going to change the workplace and workforce dramatically, but at the same time, companies can’t ignore the human element.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the modern workforce evolves to incorporate technology to stay relevant.

What are your thoughts on IoT’s impact on HR? Has your organization already started to adopt this technology? Please share your thoughts and experience in the Comments section below or send us a tweet to @Intersog.

Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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