45% would welcome wearable technology in the workplace

Mike Blake

Just under half (45%) of respondents would welcome the introduction of wearable technology in the workplace, according to research by PMI Health Group.

The research, which surveyed 1,197 UK adults aged between 18 and 64 years old, also found that 40% of respondents would object to sharing personal, health-related data generated by wearables with their employers.

Around one in 10 (9%) of respondents are already offered wearables by their employer. This figure rises among employees in London, where more than a quarter (26%) of respondents are offered wearables by their employer.

Mike Blake (pictured), director at PMI Health Group, part of Willis Towers Watson, said: “Wearables have become commonplace in recent years and their popularity provides employers with a golden opportunity to collect valuable data that can be used to improve health and wellbeing.

“Already, we have seen several examples of businesses operating [employer-funded] wearable schemes, where employees accept devices in the understanding that the data generated will be shared with their employers.

“Such initiatives can form part of wider health and wellbeing programmes, helping businesses to identify areas of risk and empower staff to take positive action. Not only could this enable a more proactive approach to absence management, tackling worrying trends before they become problematic, but it could also help to reduce claims and health insurance costs in the long term.”