Today more than ever happiness is at the heart of concerns. Home office, mental stress and isolation, the least we can say is that the past year really tested us.
According to a World Health Organization study, nearly 264 million people suffer from depression and some admit to experiencing symptoms of anxiety. It’s a lot and the lockdowns are not helping. A CoviPrev study explains that the number of cases of anxiety in the general population has significantly increased in France, reaching 21,5%. In comparison, it was only 13,5% in 2017.
Since 2016, the Moodbeam company has been developing a connected bracelet that allows your boss to track your mood. The concept is quite simple really: you are feeling a little sullen? Press the blue button, color of the melancholy of rainy days. On the contrary, if you are feeling happy press the yellow button, because there is no color more joyful than yellow.
“Imagine knowing how your people and teams are feeling everyday”
In an interview with the BBC, Christina Colmer Mchugh, Moodbeam co-founder, explains that the idea grew while she discovered that her daughter was experiencing difficulties at school. From that she decided to develop a way for her child to express her feelings within the day. Today, the device is considered particularly suited for the current pandemic situation by the company.
Moodbeam is therefore aimed at companies that wish to monitor the well-being of their staff. By encouraging their employees to wear the bracelet and press the button that suits best their emotions during the day. Obviously, given the intrusive nature of the device, it is used on a voluntary basis.
Track, review and compare
The reports generated by the app that comes with the device gives a state of the teams. Among the possibilities, it can determine which entity or individual feels better within the company. The main goal is to be more efficient than the endless (and boring) end-of-year survey that is so long that no one really reads it.
Yet one HR teacher at the Cass Business School University of London thinks otherwise. According to his BBC interview, Chris Rowley believes that this kind of technology may not be as effective as expected. If the results are not followed up by the company, this kind of initiative will not meet its objectives. Following the Moodbeam’s report, the company should provide real support and help to entities or individuals that need it.
Obviously, nowadays the mental health issue is one managers cannot ignore, mostly because a study into happiness and productivity has found that workers are 13% more productive when happy. Yet, Moobeam blurs the limits between work life and private life.
The question really is can we trust our companies and managers enough to share our deep feelings? Even though it’s “just” about our work and workplace? More importantly do we really trust them to act upon it and not use it against us?