Wearables could boost staff health

Employee Benefits Live 2015: Wearable technology could boost staff health and wellbeing, particularly if employers adopt gamification, according to Dr Chris Brauer (pictured), director of innovation and senior management studies at Goldsmiths University of London.

Chris Brauer_Sep15

Speaking at the closing keynote session on the first day of Employee Benefits Live 2015, Brauer explained that if employers can combine wearable technology with gamification, either with a competition element or to aspire individuals to set and reach personal goals, it can enhance their connection to their workplace and their health.

Brauer also outlined the most important elements to consider when incorporating wearables into workplace wellbeing, which include monitoring, augmentation, visibility and confidentiality.

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He said: “There are huge challenges around whether wearable technologies are a fad or whether they will really affect the workplace healthcare and benefits market.

“But the initial impact of wearables is that staff will be more active, and with prices crashing employers need to think innovatively about how to offer them. Mainstreaming concepts regarding wearable technology has changed the world and the workplace; they help staff understand and change their habits.”

Brauer also stated that if employers want to better understand their employees’ health, then wearable technology can enable them to gain further insights.

In terms of the future of workplace health, Brauer said: “Wearables will mean that people become more powerful because a person and a machine [wearable technology] is far more powerful than a person on their own or a machine on its own.”