36% believe wearables can enhance productivity in the workplace

More than one-third (36%) of employee respondents cite increased productivity as a benefit of using wearable technology in the workplace, according to research by office search engine organisation Office Genie.

Its survey of 1,000 UK employees also found that 42% of respondents believe that stress monitoring is an appropriate use for wearable technology in the workplace.

The research also found:

  • 41% of respondents feel that supporting employees’ physical health would be an appropriate use for workplace wearables, 30% believe wearable technology should be used to boost productivity, and 20% think that monitoring mental health is an appropriate way of employing workplace wearables.
  • 43% of respondents cite employee wellness as a benefit of using wearable technology in the workplace, and 41% cite health benefits.
  • More than half (51%) of respondents believe that wearable technology is beneficial in the workplace, compared to 69% of respondents aged 18-24 years old, and 61% of respodnents aged 65 years old and over.
  • One-third (33%) of respondents would prefer to use employer-provided wearable technology for professional use only, and 21% would use it for both professional and personal purposes.
  • 49% of respondents are worried about the negative effect wearable technology could have on employees’ stress levels, 58% are concerned that their employer could look at data recorded by the devices outside of the workplace, and 67% worry that the use of wearable technology in the workplace could result in a big brother-style surveillance culture.

Peter Ames (pictured), head of strategy at Office Genie, said: “If employers are planning to introduce workplace wearables, these concerns have to be considered. First and foremost, employees need to be be clear as to the legitimate reasons behind their introduction.

“Creating a document informing staff of the data sets that will be employer-accessible can help reduce fears of snooping bosses. These concerns aside, workplace wearables have been linked to improved productivity and job satisfaction, as well as health benefits. So it definitely isn’t worth writing them off, particularly with the majority of employees in favour of them.”