Getting real-time data on emotions at work

By Erik Korsvik Østergaard, 17. February 2022.

Imagine being at a meeting. It’s you and your colleague, discussing your proposal for some marketing activities. You can sense that your colleague is uncomfortable. He’s maybe mad. Or anxious. Or hungry? Which is it? 

You don’t have to guess. In the future you can get real-time data on emotions, so that we can act on them with care (or exploit them to our own benefit, if we’re that kind of person). 

Yes, I’m extrapolating here and making it up, but the scenario is based on research conducted at the Technical University of Denmark. They are investigating how you, for example, can get real-time data via galvanic skin response and heart rate measurements, and thus get an idea of emotions in yourself so that you can (1) react on it instantly, and (2) learn about your reactions to other people’s reactions. 

I can imagine this implemented and integrated to MS Teams or Zoom so we don’t have to guess our participants’ reactions but can get an emoji that reveals the real emotions. 

What’s the likability of this? I like that I myself can get insight into my own emotions and have the possibility to react to it. I’m not sure that I’m interested in real-time data on my colleagues’ feelings – and even more reluctant to let them know how I’m feeling. It will require a ton of psychological safety to be in place.

Are you curious and want to know more about signals from the future? Then visit our signal database Sonar to learn more about the Future of Work and New Ways of Working.