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Physiolytics at the workplace: How to increase motivation of and create value for employees

English title Physiolytics at the workplace: How to increase motivation of and create value for employees
Applicant Mettler Tobias
Number 172740
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution IDHEAP Swiss Graduate School Public Administration
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Science of management
Start/End 01.08.2017 - 31.07.2020
Approved amount 384'290.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Science of management
Occupational Medicine, Ergonomy
Information Technology

Keywords (8)

Occupational health programs; Big Data; Physiolytics; Wearables; Ethics of technology; Well-being at work; Biosensors; Technology diffusion

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Verbreitung kostengünstiger, tragbarer Computersysteme zur mobilen Messung physiologischer Parameter (Physiolytics) eröffnet neue Möglichkeiten in der beruflichen Gesundheitsförderung und -prävention. Gleichzeit kann deren Einsatz auch als permanente Überwachung empfunden werden, weshalb sich zwangsläufig auch ethische Fragestellungen und Probleme aufdrängen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Die Quantifizierung persönlicher Lebensbereiche mittels digitaler Messung, Übertragung und Auswertung gesundheitsbezogener Daten (Quantified-self) hat sich in den letzten Jahren zu einem regelrechten Boom entwickelt. Was bisher ausschliesslich im privaten Rahmen genutzt wurde, soll nun in die Berufswelt integriert werden, um die Mitarbeitenden für eine gesündere Lebens- und Arbeitsweise zu motivieren. Darüber hinaus sollen personalisierte Algorithmen neben der physiologischen Datenerhebung helfen, Überbelastungen („Burnout“) oder sich abzeichnende Krankheiten frühzeitig zu erkennen und Verhaltensveränderungen herbeizuführen. Da dies für viele Mitarbeitende jedoch einen Eingriff in die persönliche Freiheit darstellt, müssen im Rahmen des Forschungsprojektes ebenfalls ethische Aspekte berücksichtigt werden. In diesem Spannungsfeld zwischen gesundheitsbezogenem Nutzen und Überwachungspotential untersucht das Forschungsprojekt (1) die Effekte der langfristigen Nutzung von Physiolitics am Arbeitsplatz und (2) identifiziert geeignete Massnahmen, welche die Motivation der Mitarbeitenden erhöhen, respektive deren Skepsis minimieren, damit sich positive Effekte einstellen können, unter Einbezug der ethischen Aspekte, welche mit der Nutzung von Physiolytics einhergehen.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Das Projekt beschäftigt sich mit den sozio-technischen Barrieren und dem gesellschaftlichen Nutzen der Anwendung von Physiolytics am Arbeitsplatz. Damit leistet es einen Beitrag zur Erforschung neuartiger Präventivmassnahmen, welche einen Beitrag leisten können, die Gesundheitskosten langfristig zu senken. 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.07.2018

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La diffusion de dispositifs informatiques portables, peu onéreux, et destinés à la mesure de paramètres physiologiques (physiolytics) ouvre la voie à de nouvelles opportunités dans la prévention et la promotion de la santé au travail. Néanmoins, l’introduction de ces systèmes peut être perçu comme un acte de surveillance permanente, faisant inévitablement émerger des questions et considérations éthiques.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectif du projet de recherche

L’utilisation d’outils digitaux dans la mesure, la transmission et l’analyse de données relatives à la santé connaît ces dernières années un véritable boom et conduit à une quantification des espaces personnels (Quantified-self). Ces outils, utilisés jusqu’ à présent dans un cadre privé, peuvent être introduits dans le monde professionnel, de façon à encourager les employés à adopter un mode de vie et de travail plus sain. En outre, les algorithmes personnalisés peuvent non seulement servir à la collection de données physiologiques, mais également à la détection précoce de burnout ou autres maladies, et ainsi amener à des changements de comportement. Toutefois, la question de l’atteinte aux libertés personnelles peut se poser pour certains; il est ainsi nécessaire d’aborder, dans le cadre de ce projet de recherche, des aspects éthiques d’une telle démarche. Ainsi, au sein de cette zone de tension, entre bienfaits pour la santé et pouvoir de surveillance, on examine (1) les effets de l’utilisation à long terme des physiolytics au travail et (2) identifie les mesures appropriées pour augmenter la motivation et diminuer l’éventuel scepticisme des employés, de sorte que les effets positifs puissent se manifester, tout en prenant en compte les questions éthiques liées à l’utilisation des physiolytics.

Contexte scientifique et social 

Le projet de recherche analyse les barrières socio-techniques et les gains sociaux de l’utilisation des physiolytics au travail. Il explore également les mesures préventives innovantes qui peuvent contribuer à une diminution à long terme des dépenses de la santé.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.07.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Gamification in Health Behavior Change Support Systems - A Synthesis of Unintended Side Effects
Schmidt-Kraepelin Manuel, Thiebes Scott, Stepanovic Stefan, Mettler Tobias, Suyaev Ali (2019), Gamification in Health Behavior Change Support Systems - A Synthesis of Unintended Side Effects, in Proceedings of the 14th International Conference Wirtschaftsinformatik, Siegen, GermanyUniversity of Siegen, Siegen.
Physiolytics at the workplace: Affordances and constraints of wearables use from an employee's perspective
Mettler Tobias, Wulf Jochen (2018), Physiolytics at the workplace: Affordances and constraints of wearables use from an employee's perspective, in Information Systems Journal.
Gamification applied for health promotion: does it really foster long-term engagement? A scoping review
Stepanovic Stefan, Mettler Tobias (2018), Gamification applied for health promotion: does it really foster long-term engagement? A scoping review, in Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth European Conference on Information Systems, PortsmouthAssociation for Information Systems, Atlanta.
Designing visualizations for workplace stress management: Results of a pilot study at a Swiss municipality
Stepanovic Stefan, Mozgovoy Vadym, Mettler Tobias, Designing visualizations for workplace stress management: Results of a pilot study at a Swiss municipality, in Proceedings of the IFIP WG 8.5 Electronic Government (EGOV), the IFIP WG 8.5 IFIP Electronic Partici, Springer, Heidelberg.
Stress Pattern Recognition Through Wearable Biosensors in the Workplace: Experimental Longitudinal Study on the Role of Motion Intensity
MozgovoyVadym, Stress Pattern Recognition Through Wearable Biosensors in the Workplace: Experimental Longitudinal Study on the Role of Motion Intensity, in Proceedings of the 6th Swiss Conference on Data Science, BerneIEEE, Washington, DC.
Wearable Health Devices in the Workplace: The Importance of Habits to Sustain the Use
StepanovicStefan, MettlerTobias, Schmidt-KraepelinManuel, ThiebesScott, SunyaevAli, Wearable Health Devices in the Workplace: The Importance of Habits to Sustain the Use, in Proceedings of the 21st IEEE Conference on Business Informatics, Moscow, RussiaIEEE, Washington, DC.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Sunyaev / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Wulf / University of St.Gallen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
International Research Conference on Wellbeing of Hospitality and Hospitality of Wellbeing Talk given at a conference Investigating the impact of employee workplace well-being on actual use of wearable stress monitoring devices in Public Service Organization: A Longitudinal Experiment 27.04.2019 Brig, Switzerland Mozgovoy Vadym;
Swiss Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Day 2018 Poster Citizen science a give and take? A lifecycle view on data collection and sharing 15.11.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Mettler Tobias;
European Group for Public Administration Conference 2018 (EGPA) Talk given at a conference Effectiveness of Electronic Human Resource Management in Public Service: A Systematic Literature Review 03.09.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Mozgovoy Vadym; Mettler Tobias;
International Research Conference on Wellbeing of Hospitality and Hospitality of Wellbeing Talk given at a conference Workplace Well-being Enhancement Through Algorithm-Based Applications: a New Practice in Electronic Human Resource Management 28.05.2018 Brig, Switzerland Mozgovoy Vadym;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Série de séminaires: Digitalisation dans le monde du travail Western Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Projektwebsite International 2018

Awards

Title Year
Best Paper Award of the 6th Swiss Conference on Data Science 2019

Abstract

Although public and private organizations are legally responsible to protect the safety, health, and well-being of their employees, there is evidence of an increasing number of occupational and work-related health issues. Facilitated by the broad availability of low-priced sensing devices in the last couple of years, organizations have the possibility to track and accumulate a huge amount of biological, physical, and behavioral data of their workforce, which in turn could be purposefully used for enhancing their well-being at work. However, with the introduction of this emerging technology, frequently referred to as "physiolytics", organizations face several complex challenges, such as how to reduce employees’ resistant attitudes or how to encourage them to use it on a day-to-day basis over a longer period of time. Inevitably an ethical debate about the moral and immoral uses of physiolytics will emerge as well. The aim of the proposed project is to extend the existing body of knowledge related to physiolytics by investigating the affordances and tensions associated with the introduction of this technology in organizational settings (rather than the more frequently explored private setting) and by measuring long-term effects of a meaningful use in an office context (rather than a cross-sectional perspective). In doing so, we will employ a longitudinal convergent mixed methods research design and combine quantitative data, which we obtain from our technology partner’s biosensors, with qualitative data, which we collect in semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and observations at the premises of our pilot partner. In adopting a micro-view when studying the adoption of physiolytics, the proposed project will provide new, in-depth, and contextualized knowledge about the potentials of this emerging technology for the design of digital occupational health programs. Our results will also advance the ongoing, yet controversial discussion on ethical implications of harnessing physiological data of employees for the optimization of work in public and private organizations. Besides the publication of high-impact articles in renowned journals, we will therefore additionally seek the scientific knowledge transfer to practice in order to create awareness concerning the ethical dimension of physiolytics.
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