Wearables in the workplace

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A recent study, led by Chris Brauer of Goldsmiths University, found that wearable technology could boost employee productivity by as much as 8.5 per cent, and job satisfaction by 3.5 per cent. “Wearable technology is arguably the biggest trend since tablet computing, so it’s natural that employees and businesses will look to use these devices in the workplace,” Brauer says in his report. But do smaller businesses have a role to play in the wearable tech revolution?

According to Redg Snodgrass, chief executive of the incubator Wearable World, they’ll be at the centre of it. He recently said that the future success of many SMEs will depend on how they adapt to the nascent field.

Key to the promise of wearable tech is immediacy. Through devices such as Google Glass, smart watches and even smart clothing, emails, customer complaints and in-house communications are accessed and dealt with far more quickly. Shaving just seconds off these communications brings businesses closer to their customers, Snodgrass has argued.

But it’s not just communications that are improved. Brauer’s team fitted participants with wristbands measuring physical activity, brain activity monitors, and a device that monitors posture. Using data gathered from these devices, Brauer says that organisations can optimise the workplace to improve employee performance.

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