The implementation of wearable technology in business is growing at an alarming rate, with adoption expected to increase over the next twelve months as more business begin to harness the technology.

Statistics show that one in seven people in the UK owns a piece of wearable technology, meaning that in the not too distant future it could be used by every employee in the office.

As with every technology introduced into new environments, there, is, of course, positive and negative implications, so below we’ve highlighted the strongest advantages and disadvantages of wearable tech.

Communication

In a business environment, the primary use for wearable technology is to assist with communication between employees. Numerous businesses have already implemented devices such as walkie-talkies to allow staff who operate in different areas to share information effectively.

Now, however, improvements to this technology – with the design of the smart walkie-talkie – enable businesses to communicate over a much wider area.

Jesse Robbins, the CEO and co-founder of Orions Labs, praises the positive changes to workplace communication technology following the creation of Oynx.

“The way people work and communicate is rapidly changing,” explains Jesse. “It is now common for teams to be separated by a few floors, even a few continents.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is that reliable, real-time communication is a necessity for a successful business. Not being in the same office is no longer an obstacle to clear communication thanks to modern tools and technology like Onyx, our push-to-talk, wearable smart walkie-talkie.

“We created Onyx and the Orion Service as a better, easier way for people to talk in real time, without having to pull up texting apps or get distracted by their phone screens.

“Talking is often more efficient than typing and we give teams and businesses the ability to communicate without looking away from tasks or customers, enabling greater efficiency and better business outcomes.”

New wearable technology takes communication one step further. Employees who work in an office environment use wearable technology to swiftly answer emails or instantly communicate using messenger programs such as Slack. This ease of access increases productivity in the workplace, which is not only beneficial for employees but the business as a whole.

Health Care Benefits

The health and wellbeing of employees, is, of course, a primary concern to any business, and with the introduction of wearable technology, many businesses are seeing a positive rise in the health and fitness of employees.

When a device is used on a regular basis, businesses are able to harness the technology to collect specific data about the health of their employees, such as how much water they drink and how many steps they take. This data is then analyzed allowing the introduction of new wellness schemes or rewards, ultimately increasing workplace morale.

Privacy Challenges

The primary concern surrounding wearable technology in the workplace is just how much of the data an employer will be able to obtain.  If the device is worn both in and out of the office (as you expect it to be), there is the potential infringement into the private life of an employee, including details many will not want their managers to have access to.  This information could be quite harmless such as if they went for a walk after work, or it could be something more private such as weight or medical conditions.

Security Concerns

Data security has always been a top concern for business owners. With the introduction of wearable technology, a new potential threat has been unearthed as each device lacks individual security programs.  A wearable device stores data directly on the system but does not have any security layers such as encryption, passwords or user authentication, something that could prove a costly problem if a device gets into the wrong hands.

How do you use wearable technology in the workplace? What pros and cons have you experienced so far?

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