How will wearable technology change the workforce?

Image of AJ Sementilli
AJ Sementilli
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What exactly is a wearable? Simply put, they are electronics integrated into items of clothing which can be worn anywhere and feel comfortable. Some of the best examples today would be the  Apple Watch and Google Glass. From watches and headgear to belts and glasses, to all assortments of chips and sensors built into clothes and accessories, this market doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

In some instances the individual wearable has the ability to outperform hand held devices. Wearables present a new opportunity to gather insight surrounding an employee’s daily routine, making its benefits for today’s workforce largely centered on hard core data.

We are seeing a new cultural shift in the workforce where we will be more dependent on devices in order to do our daily tasks. I like this image from Forrester Research which asks people how they would prefer to wear a wearable. You notice, the wrist and clipped on to clothing seem like the most popular choice.

 

wearable technology

 

So, now that you know what a wearable is and how people prefer to wear them, here is the next question: “How can something like this change our workforce and our way of life?”

Take the onboarding process for example. This is a crucial time for a company to onboard new talent and ensure a positive, informative implementation process. Real-time insights and analytics delivered by wearables can even trickle down to the on-boarding process, allowing organizations to easily help new talent better integrate into the company with orientation and training manuals preloaded onto a wearable device. Or what about the ability to be on a video conference call, right from your wrist? 

Employees who are armed with wearable technology in the workplace have increased productivity by 8.5% and job satisfaction by 3.5%! People like technology and they feel empowered by it.

So how will wearable technology improve the workforce?

Ease of Use

The way we think will change when we can look up vital information with minimal effort. Voice-activated data and information retrieval will revolutionize our relationship with technology. No more typing into Google, just simply ask Siri. Instead of manually entering a person's phone number and email into your phone, you can now scan their business card against your watch. Easy peasy.

Connectivity

Wearable technology will further allow workers to connect digitally from anywhere in the world while on the go. Geographic location will not limit access to information. All the while, their hands will be free to do other things.

Productivity

Wearable technology will allow workers to process their tasks more efficiently. In an instant a freelancer can use wearables to scan a business expense receipt and forward it into their client’s expense account.


The impact of wearables will touch every industry.  Companies around the world will not only have to worry about the development in technology but also will need a change in the workflow and outlook on how to implement these technologies into their company culture. What do you think? Do you own any wearables? How are they changing the way you work?

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