Depending on how you look at this, this is either a company looking out for its staff or a massive corporation squeezing everything it can out of its workers. Amazon, according to Jeff Bezos’ final letter as CEO to company shareholders, is making use of “sophisticated algorithms” that rotate the physical effect on staff more effectively around their muscle-tendon groups.
Which, you know, should be a good thing. Performing a single, repetitive task isn’t good for you — it doesn’t matter what the task is, eventually repetitive motion will do you in. And if anyone other than Amazon brought this up, it might have seemed a little more benevolent.
Avoiding the Amazon
You see, the online retailer has been seen as rather naughty of late. Staff have alleged all manner of abuse at warehouses, from being unable to take mandated breaks to have to urinate in bottles to being kept under severe surveillance. Those reports don’t paint a very pleasant picture.
So when Jeff Bezos says that the company is developing “…new automated staffing schedules that use sophisticated algorithms to rotate employees among jobs that use different muscle-tendon groups to decrease repetitive motion and help protect employees from MSD [musculoskeletal disorder] risks,” it sounds a little more sinister than it’s meant to.
It’s supposed to sound like staff health comes first, but you can’t help but feel that the move also allows Amazon to keep a human being working for as long as possible before exhaustion takes them out of rotation. Bezos, however, is aware of his company’s reputation at the moment.
He added that “Employees are able to take informal breaks throughout their shifts to stretch, get water, use the restroom, or talk to a manager, all without impacting their performance.”
Source: via The Next Web