The New Office Convenience Trend: Microchipping Employees

As specialists in office partitions, we like to keep up with the latest office trends around the world. From increasing productivity and standing desks to….microchips. In April 2017, it was reported that a Swedish firm are considering a new tactic to make office life easier, and possibly monitor their productivity.

A start up in Stockholm, Epicenter, is home to more than 100 companies and over 2,000 workers. Earlier this year, they presented staff with the option of a free microchip for ultimate convenience. 150 employees took up the offer and had rice-sized RFID microchips inserted into their hand via a syringe.

Before you gasp in horror, it may be the first time microchip technology has been used in humans, but we already use it in other applications. From microchipping our pets to tracking deliveries, they have offered peace of mind for many years. The implants use Near Field Communication Technology, which is the same tech used in contactless cards or mobile payments to send data, but cannot read it.

What does the chip do?

The microchip replaces keys and cards, and gives its user access to:

  • Open doors with access control
  • Printers and other office equipment
  • Make purchases at the office cafeteria
  • Clock in and out of work
  • Run coffee makers
  • Activate speakers and meeting room equipment

Who’s convinced?

The convenience of easy access has already convinced many, “People ask me; ‘Are you chipped?’ and I say; ‘Yes, why not,'” said Fredric Kaijser, 47, the Chief Experience Officer at Epicenter. “And they all get excited about privacy issues and what that means and so forth. And for me it’s just a matter of I like to try new things and just see it as more of an enabler and what that would bring into the future.”

Invasion of privacy

However, concerns are rising about the capabilities of the microchips if found in the wrong hands. It is believed that you could get data about a person’s health, their whereabouts, how often they’re working or not, how many toilet breaks they take and so on. This may be useful for bosses, from tracking productivity to evaluating performance, but the invasion of privacy for workers could be too much.

As of July 2017, the technology has moved to Wisconsin, America. Privacy concerns are still on the rise, but it seems to be an up and coming trend!

If microchips aren’t on the top of your list but you’d like to improve your office, view our range of office partitions. We install solid, demountable and glass office partitions to help you maximise the space in your office. Speak to an expert at Applied Workplace by calling 01202 577 7676, get a free quote online or fill in our contact form.