Investing in wearable tech? Six key questions to address

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Technology has become ubiquitous in recent decades, invading almost every aspect of our work and personal lives. But in more recent years, it has assisted in blurring the already fractured line between work and home.

In most instances, wearable technology remains limited to use in the workplace. For example, UK retailer Tesco’s warehouse staff use wearable technology to track product orders.

However, for some workforces, taking off the wearable device is not an option at the end of the working day. Swedish firm Epicentre, for instance, has fitted its employees with microchips beneath their skin. The chips grant them access to the office and allow them to share their business cards; but as an artificial addition to their anatomy, they are followed as they venture away from work.

But how far is too far when it comes to wearable technology? At what point does corporate technology become invasive?

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, André Spicer and Carl Cederström outlined six questions that employers need to address before implementing similar equipment into their workforce.

1. Will employees voluntarily use the wearables you’ve bought for them?

According to Spicer and Cederström, the most obvious– and the least discussed – problem with wearables is that people simply aren’t interested in using them long-term.

“Before pouring money, resources, and hope into wearables in the workplace, executivesneed to be realistic about whether employees will actually use the devices voluntarily and over a long enough period of time to glean useful insights,” they said. “In all likelihood, many probably won’t.”


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