Research experts from Goldsmiths, University of London, and Rackspace tech company discovered that wearable technology improves productivity by 8.5 percent.
This remarkable finding shows how wearable tech has the potential to transform the workplace and lead to a more efficient workforce.
Users can wear these smart electronic devices on the body as an accessory or implant. Through these gadgets, we can monitor and control our lives.
And since we spend most of our time working, employers may want to explore the potential of using wearables to make the workforce more engaging and productive.
Here are the top four ways wearables boost productivity:
1. Monitoring Health
Most early versions of wearable devices were designed for health purposes, and the technology has now improved to include devices that can achieve much more.
However, nearly every wearable tech model still features health-related functionalities like mileage trackers, biomarker readers, step counters, and even food logs.
Having a healthy workforce is essential, as many studies have revealed that healthier employees are often more productive than those who don’t keep a healthy diet or exercise regularly.
That’s why most employers are using wearables to help know when their workers, especially truck drivers, are fatigued or in bad posture.
For example, the workers at Audi have been wearing exoskeletons to help them carry heavy materials. These wearable devices have helped to lower back strain by 30 percent.
Researchers are studying how wearables can be used to reduce fatigue, thus keeping employees safe and boosting productivity. By pairing activity trackers with a smartphone app, it’s possible to measure biomarkers like sleep, stress, heart rate, and physical activity of office workers.
2. They Promote Safety
Wearable gadgets enhance safety, especially in the manufacturing industry. By connecting simple wearers, such as wristbands, to the headwear or clothing of workers, it’s possible to gather environmental and safety information using manufacturing apps.
For example, a device like Google Glass can provide useful information, including the surfaces that are too hot, the malfunctioning equipment, or the presence of hazardous conditions, such as spilled fluids.
The other aspect, particularly in a factory setting, is injuries resulting from prolonged work. Working for extended periods in a manufacturing plant can harm the human body.
For example, people who stand for long hours, while operating machinery, may strain their limbs and backs. It does not only increase exhaustion, but also the possibility of injuries.
Other than the manufacturing industry, wearables are also crucial in truck driving. Despite the rules that limit driving hours and require rest stops, fatigue is still prevalent and a significant cause of truck-related accidents.
Biometric sensors are becoming cheaper, lighter, and highly accurate with software that can connect vehicle and driver data. These systems create feedback loops that could improve safety on the roads.
The wearable tech comes in the form of vests, wristbands, caps, and eyewear. For example, Optalert makes glasses that use an LED light monitor to measure a driver’s blinking behavior.
Eyelids that remain down for a more extended period may signal sleepiness. Real-time measurements are shown on a dash-mounted gadget with notifications and alarms.
A headset, such as the one designed by Maven Machines, detects a driver’s head bobs and jerks, which signal drowsiness.
The system also identifies and delivers alerts on coachable behavior that requires improvement, such as hard braking. It also provides weather, audible routing, and other notifications.
3. Remote Management
Wearables like connected sensors help managers to see remote operations, especially in the manufacturing industry. Everything is connected to a central system where administrators can review the progress status, and make adjustments and plans.
This wearable technology is even more effective when all workers use it. The management can see where every person is, how busy they are, and if there are potential problems.
Here are wearable tools and their benefit to remote workers:
- Head-Mounted Displays – The devices enable remote collaboration among contractors, workers, and customers.
This technology is not location-based and can be used for document sharing, data capture, video collaboration, and visual troubleshooting among remote employees. The devices help remote workers save time, stay connected, and increase accuracy, despite their location.
- Smart Glasses – These are displays, such as mobile screens or tiny computer monitors. An engineer can use smart glasses to share audio or video with staff mates in real-time rather than having to call everyone on the phone to explain it. Besides, field technicians attending to clients can use these glasses to get quick support.
- Smartwatches – A warehouse manager can collect performance data in real-time and use it to oversee fulfillment and distribution operations in a better way. While in a meeting, a warehouse manager can see the activity on the smartwatch and make a quick decision.
Thus, the manager doesn’t have to leave the meeting to visit the warehouse. The device also allows managers to receive text messages, voice calls, and emails. This does not only improve communication but also enhances efficient collaboration.
4. Security and Authentication
In industrial and manufacturing settings, it’s crucial to maintain the right security protocols. The idea is to authenticate employees or a third party before they access individual sections of the premises.
For instance, the management may deem it unnecessary for an equipment vendor to access the part of a manufacturing plant that contains unannounced goods.
Wearables can allow, block, and even track the workers’ movements. The technology can help provide temporary access to a particular section. You only need to authorize the wristband, headset, or mobile device of a worker to grant access.
After completing the assignment, you can lock down the section or revoke the employee’s access.
Besides, if you identify an individual who doesn’t follow proper protocols or puts others at risk, you can block them from accessing particular equipment to avert further harm or injuries. After that, you may take action by scheduling a face-to-face meeting or taking them for more training.
From remote management and security to health monitoring, wearable technology plays an incredible role in the workplace. Using the right device in the right way can increase the overall productivity of any organization.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.