As more and more companies incorporate wearable technology into their wellness programmes, it’s reasonable to ask oneself, ‘What are the pros and cons of this type of technology? Could they perhaps be causing employees uneasiness or even anxiety? Perhaps some employees could even feel resentful about a perceived intrusiveness on the part of the employer. Are they being spied on or manipulated?
The number of wearables used by employees has indeed increased dramatically. According to one study by Price Waterhouse Cooper, more than 75 million of them will have been introduced into workplaces by the end of this year. The same study highlighted some of the negative reactions that wearable technology often elicits. Some employees found them ugly or uncomfortable, whilst others expressed concerns about privacy. Many more questioned whether they were actually useful for anything in a workplace setting. Despite these concerns, however, the majority of those questioned did show a positive reaction to wearables: 2 in 3 were in favour of the new gadgets being introduced into their workplace, the most favourably disposed towards the idea being millennials (71%) and males (70%). 49% said that they believed wearable technology could increase workplace efficiency. There are indeed a number of ways in which wearable tech can improve the mental and physical health of employees, as well as boosting productivity. To take a simple example, some companies provide employees with a smart watch to keep track of the number of steps they take. Employees are then rewarded for reaching a certain target. This technology can also monitor the vital signs and bodily functions of employees, helping to reveal underlying health conditions. It’s understandable that some people may find this intrusive, but it’s no exaggeration to say that this technology has the potential to save lives.
It seems that a pragmatic approach is best. If an employee is against the idea of using wearable technology, it obviously isn’t worth forcing the issue. If, however, they are open to the idea, providing them with a smartwatch, for example, could make them feel more valued and included in the company, as well as encouraging them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. As more and more companies introduce wearables into the workplace, it is likely that the concerns of employees will be assuaged as the benefits become self-evident: more efficiency, productivity and a happier, healthier workforce.
OMG Welltech can help navigate your business through the highs and lows of wellness technology in the workplace. For an informal discussion about how OMG Welltech can help, book an appointment here.
Orange Monkey Group supply products for the wellbeing of the body and the mind to numerous channels including retail, health and education. We have made it our goal to improve people’s physical, mental and emotional health, an aim which is even more important to us than the previous heights towards which we have strived. For all too many, feeling good and sleeping well have become something of a luxury. Here at OMG however, we are happy to be able to help our customers enjoy that luxury to the full.
We’re proud to be partnered with the Blink Mental health campaign and we will work hard to support the charity in various ways. It’s an exciting time for us as we get to help those who have been affected by issues that, sadly, any one of us could have the misfortune to experience in our ever more complicated lives.
Written by Clive Norris
OMG Welltech – Manager for Social Happiness
Photo courtesy of https://www.historic-uk.com/