Surveillance in the workplace: past, present, and future

Kirstie Ball*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    5 Downloads (Pure)


    As part of Surveillance & Society’s twentieth anniversary issue, this short article explores the recent rise in interest in the phenomenon of workplace surveillance. It briefly reviews the latest findings and future research priorities. Recent developments in workplace datafication have foregrounded workplace surveillance as a more vital organizing force. A range of interdisciplinary research now addresses workplace surveillance in action, attesting to its observable effects, as it shapes how organizing and new forms of work emerge. Enhanced control over employee performance as well as behaviours, emotions, movements, and reputation is now possible. Surveillant means can also co-create new organizational forms and configure boundaries between work and private life. Alongside, trade unions and regulators have been explicitly campaigning to limit its effects and to promote ethical practice. Many opportunities for future research, regulation, and collective action now present themselves in the face of the increasing intensity of workplace surveillance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-461
    Number of pages7
    JournalSurveillance and Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022


    • Work organization studies
    • Work/Life Boundaries
    • Surveillance Studies Organizing


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