The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated technology-based tracking of employee status and productivity. At the same time, social unrest sharpened attention on technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence that could drive racial and socioeconomic disparities.
Consumer concerns about privacy vary depending on social circumstances, according to one study. As they bring these differing attitudes about technology and privacy into their places of work and also experience the global market’s reaction to the data and technology ethics of their employers, they will form shared opinions and expectations about privacy in the workplace.
Companies most closely aligned with and intentional about positively shaping their employee privacy culture will likely achieve the greatest employee productivity and the easiest adoption of new technologies and data analytics in the workplace — and in their products and services.
Multinationals straddling varying privacy cultures across the three privacy regulatory poles are expected to face the greatest challenges when rolling out technologies globally, and they may need to consider different regional approaches to optimize employee productivity and returns on investment.
"Here in Denmark, we bring the concept of hygge — the coziness from sitting, eating and drinking with friends and sharing the day's stories — into our understanding of what is comfortable and acceptable information sharing in a social context. Even though we live by the same GDPR rules as the rest of Europe, successful companies will realize we may strike a different balance in different scenarios."