Wearable technology can boost employee productivity, job satisfaction: Study

By Lori Sandoval, Tech Times | May 3, 6:00 AM

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Sleeping on the job? No problem! A new research says providing your employees wearable technology can increase their productivity and job satisfaction by heaps and benefit the organization significantly as well.
(Photo : Sonny Abesamis)

What used to be a short walk in the park, a coffee break or a little downtime off the work desk to wake up those sleeping creative senses of employees -- who in reality have potential to be company assets -- may soon be a thing of the past, as a new research suggests that wearable technology is possibly the new booster for employee productivity and job satisfaction.

The new research report, titled The Human Cloud At Work (HCAW) A Study Into The Impact Of Wearable Technologies In The Workplace, indicates that wearable technology indeed provides substantial benefits for job satisfaction and productivity. Spearheaded by Dr. Chris Brauer of the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, the research suggests that organizations will need to adopt cloud computing to make this possible because the systems will handle and process large data.

"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. Our initial findings suggest that there is benefit to be gained from doing so alongside risks and opportunities that need to be proactively addressed," says [pdf] Dr. Brauer.

For the preliminary study that lasted a month, participants were given three devices to wear. One is GENEActiv, a high-velocity accelerometer wristband for measuring activity and movement, the other is a NeuroSky Mindwave, a compact biosensor EEG for monitoring brain activity and the last is a LUMOback device that acts as activity and posture coach.

Preliminary results indicate that employees with wearable devices increased their productivity by 8.5 percent and their job satisfaction by 3.5 percent. The study says the researchers are in the process of evaluating the longer-term implications of such results by increasing their sample size and duration of the study.

"These results show organisations and employees need now to be developing and implementing strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the workplace," Dr. Brauer says.

Meanwhile, in an article he wrote for CNN, Dr. Brauer also reveals that it is the organizations themselves that benefit most from the technology if adopted in the workplace. In fact, the study also states that wearable tech plays major role in a business environment that is growing more competitive-simply by helping employees to be more effective.

The research is the second part of a two-year collaboration between Goldsmiths and Rackspace. It is composed of three studies: the HCAW; a quantitative survey by Vanson Bourne; and another quantitative study by Vision Critical.

The quantitative survey by Vanson Bourne involved 300 IT decision makers from the US and UK and aimed at understanding the possible challenges of a wider adoption of the wearable devices, while that of Vision Critical looks into consumer adoption of wearable technology.

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