Wearable Tech In The Workplace

Wearable Tech In The Workplace

Wearable Tech In The Workplace

Wearable tech is already profoundly altering the way we interact with our personal lives, but as the industry continues to grow relentlessly it will inevitably permeate into the workplace. This shift has the potential to greatly change the way employees are managed and monitored – for better or for worse.

wearable-tech-work

Already companies such as Kronos and Hitachi are developing technology that can be integrated with wearables in the workplace. Kronos’ watches and wristbands include tracking and communication capabilities, while Hitachi’s ‘Business Microscope’ looks like an employee ID badge but includes sensors that track who is speak to whom, where those conversations take place and how frequently they occur. It means managers can monitor the who are the most active participants in meetings, or who spends more time away from their desk than they should.

The natural conclusion of wearable tech in the workplace is employers who have the ability to track their employee’s movements, send them alerts, remind them about responsibilities, and discuss ideas. It could happen at any time of the day and regardless of where the employee is location-wise. Such technology has business leaders drooling at the prospect of increased productivity, while have workers fretting about privacy concerns and being hassled during breaks and vacations.

Clearly, companies need to exercise extreme caution when implementing wearable tracking systems. The current law in the United States is that employees have to verify that they agree to allow employers track their location, and this is unlikely to change. Stephen Burnett – a management school professor – says that while more data and more analytics is a good thing, it has to be a joint effort between employer and employee.

“It can’t be a top down thing” he said. “It can’t be ‘I’m going to measure you, spy on you, and control you’, it has to be a joint venture between the company and the employees”. Crucially, he believes the most important feature is that workers must benefit from any system as much as the business does. “Companies should be smart enough to still give employees discretion on how they do their work. Employees who know their job will resent being turned into a robot” he added.

Kronos seem to be sensitive to Burnett’s points. Their software will also track employees’ skills, meaning it can aid with targeted training and will also allow companies to easily send questions, comments and feedback to a worker who is well-suited for a specific task – empowering the employee and giving them a sense of value. It is hoped that this technology can ultimately be fused with other wearable tech – specifically health-related wearable tech – and can tell managers which people in a manual job are most in need of a rest and advise them on the best person to replace them with, in terms of both skill-set and physical condition.

Ultimately, wearable tech in the workplace that is implemented in the right way could lead to a happier, more productive and more motivated workforce. Get it wrong and it could backfire, with employees leaving or sabotaging the system.

What do you think are reasonable limits for the use of wearable tech in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

Follow Me!

Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
Follow Me!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Contributors

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare There are so many exciting new opportunities available to utilize wearable technology in the future.  Areas such as nanotechnology disease monitoring, crowdfunding to wearable accessories are some excellent examples of the potential. Estimates vary, but appear to suggest that the market will produce between $14-50 Billion over the next few years. Included below

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Big Data Is Entering the Age of Aquarius

Big Data Is Entering the Age of Aquarius

Suddenly, I realized: fluids are in, animals are out. The big data ecosystem has given up on its elephants, impalas and pigs in favor of aquatics.  Perhaps, the shift started with “data lakes,” or, perhaps, data lakes just reflected the state of big data (pun intended). Or maybe, Cascading was the one that signified the

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Hewlett-Packard Company On-Demand Webinar

Shifting Workloads and the Server Evolution Learn more about the latest industry trends and the challenges customers are talking about. Every ten to fifteen years, the types of workloads servers host swiftly shift. This happened with the first single-mission mainframes and today, as disruptive technologies appear in the form of big data, cloud, mobility and

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy

Microsoft, The Government And Privacy But European companies can’t afford to get complacent if they have any tied to the US Apple, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T are considering joining Microsoft’s battle against the US government to safeguard customers’ privacy – but European corps should also take note.… Read the source article at The Register About