Can Wearable Tech Improve Employee Happiness and Productivity?
It’s a fact that technology has been evolving at a fast pace ever since the year 2000. By that time even internet was an embryo, and nowadays we can carry devices everywhere and be connected to anyone, no matter how far we might be. Technology is steadily blending with us; this is a fact when we see people wearing devices mixing up the functionality and also a sense of fashion. Carrying these wearable devices still faces some resistance, especially in cases where companies are directed by people that still hold to antique work codes, such as the typical suit and tie and sticking the employees to a desk. Above all, a company should be about profit and to assure the best conditions to its employees, what if the wearable technology guarantees an increase in both happiness and productivity? Maybe that way the barriers would start collapsing.
Using wearable technology in the workspace
More curious as it might sound, these wearables work better inside a company than outside of it. This happens because they are still very specific, let us consider the example of smartglasses used to take orders and take photos with the extra that the hands are kept free. This is perfect in jobs such as a construction site, using these smartglasses will allow more efficiency and quality of work, to save time for the worker and to guarantee the worker’s safety.
Now let us think regarding smartglasses outside the working environment, why do you need an expensive tool that keeps your hands free while you’re in leisure? They are too specific tool, almost made solely for working environments purpose. This is the point that makes us think that wearables will be considered in the future as something normal, or maybe even a pre requisite for very specific works.
Wearables demand innovation
Sure, these wearables are made to increase the productivity of the worker, such as a simple laptop and tablets, however, there are things needed to comply with to integrate this technology. The majority of these wearables “demand” battery and internet connection, so there will be the need to invest in more energy supply and wifi connection. This is the point in which we have to start thinking what will wearables mean; if more productivity than happiness, or are both compatible?
The fact is; a company is made to have profits, so spending money in more energy supply and wifi is not that attractive and probably will lead to restrictions in its use. It would take a company that has assured a continuous source of profits to keep recharging batteries for all the employees every day, restricting the use to save power would mean unhappiness of the workers at long term, because that’s the effect of repression in the individual’s morale. However, recharging batteries every day might become a higher cost than what it represents in productivity.
The eternal “privacy vs security” discussion
It’s not exclusive to wearables, but to all technology that provides some type of external connection. How would companies deal with the bipolarity “privacy vs security”? A company must assure that its own information won’t be leaked outside; however, this means heavier monitoring, something that the workers dislike in the workplace.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that the wearable technology records a lot of personal information, whether it’s the person’s habits, that when recorder, can be considered as the company’s intellectual property. This situation leads to uncomfortable situations, no one likes to have its life monitored to the extreme, especially in the workplace which has already a higher level of stress motivated by the kind of relations established and that demand the less personal involvement possible.
From what was stated in the previous paragraphs we consider that wearables indeed improve the productivity of the worker due to their specificity and the way they are built to fit a working environment. Regarding the happiness of the employee, most likely it would lead to unhappiness, installing these devices to work at a satisfactory rate while being affordable would mean that they would need to have a restricted use and an increase in the investment that would need to be made inside the company to accommodate this technology.
Restrictions lead to the loss of satisfaction, what would mean a bonus would be seen in the worker’s view only as a “tool” to produce more and demand more in the regular working hours, increasing the current workload. The privacy would be another aspect against wearables in the workplace; a company will most likely sacrifice the privacy of the workers in favor of the security data protection, especially when we’re in the era of information, where the loss of it for a direct competitor can be the difference between success and failure. With this being said, we believe that the increase of productivity of the worker would be considered as marginal when comparing with the remaining arguments of wearables for employees.
About the Author:
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I enjoy writing about small business and administration matters. I’m an entrepreneur deep down, and enjoy people who wish to grow companies and add to the market.
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