Does Monitoring of Employees Limit Attractiveness of Jobs, Especially in Truck Transportation?
By: Tech Republic July 03, 2014
Since the gas and diesel price hikes of the mid-2000s, industries across the board have taken hard looks at their energy expenditures and how to reduce them. Nowhere is this more apparent than in trucking, where logistics companies now employ sensors and global positioning systems in their vehicles to monitor the driving habits of their drivers, such as how they use the brakes and whether they are heavy on the gas pedal.
They also monitor vehicle whereabouts; this assures that trucks are using the most cost- and time-efficient routes, and that trucks are where they are supposed to be on their daily routes.
It's been good for business. Logistics companies have taken the "waste" out of routes; they are conserving energy; and their customers are pleased with improvements in on-time performance. Despite these gains, there is also a "people" side to management.
The trucking industry in particular is taxed to find new drivers. Young people who would normally be entering the industry as drivers are instead opting for jobs that require less travel, while some don't like the added "supervision" of sensors and trackers placed within trucks that monitor them throughout their day -- even on lunch breaks.
These reasons for the chronic shortage of drivers should prompt questions in the minds of managers, such as: do employees expect a certain amount of flexibility where they aren't always "under surveillance?" Can they hope to have this modicum of personal time and privacy anymore, given the growing number of sensors that are dispensed on railroad tracks, cars, trucks, supply chain lines, etc.? And is sensor-based monitoring making employment in some industries less attractive?