The Link Between Changes in Social Support and Changes in Job Satisfaction: An Investigation with the Sociometric Badge

Benjamin N. Waber, Alex 'Sandy' Pentland


Interactions with other people can change how a person feels about themselves and their situation. This is a basic tenet of much previous work on research as diverse as social network, psychology, and management. Studying these changes previously has been extremely laborious due to the necessity of employing surveys, human observers, or interviews. These methods also mostly preclude observing how changes on a micro scale affect one’s perceptions, and are on the most part very subjective. The advent of low cost, flexible sensing systems has changed this equation, particularly in the workplace. Many employees in larger companies are required to wear RFID name tags that allow them to open doors or access other resources, but more often than not this data is not harnessed so people can understand how people are actually moving around the workplace. In addition, it is possible to augment these name tags with additional sensors to understand in more detail how people interact with each other and even fiddle at their desks.

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