Will employees want to use wearables at work? Here is how to approach this as a company

a worker with wearable scanner attached on his hand scanning a package

As we’ve discussed before, smartwatches and wearables in general, have the potential to be the next big thing in enterprise utilization. Their power lies in the ability to increase productivity, satisfaction, and safety of workers. As a result, combined with improved work conditions and processes digitalization, companies are more effective in achieving their goals. But despite the ever more appealing benefits, some employee concerns regarding workplace wearables remain.

In this article you will learn:

  • What concerns workers regarding wearables utilization
  • How should companies address these concerns
  • Why does it matter to resolve them before technology integration

Employees mostly fear about privacy

Concerns connected with digital technologies are a natural. We’ve seen it for years on the consumer market and it’s even more apparent in work utilization. A survey conducted on 1000 British workers shows, there is one key factor that connects all employees’ main concerns. It’s the privacy of their data.
augmented and virtual reality
More than two-thirds of surveyed workers are afraid that wearables utilization can lead to surveillance from their employers. Another privacy concern relates to the possibility that devices can be hacked (64% of respondents) and that companies will track employees’ out-of-office data (58%). Unsurprisingly, privacy and security are one of the first things companies should address when implementing wearables.
The consumer market already shows us how this challenge can be solved. Outside of the workplace, people actively choose to use wearables and share their data with developers and vendors. The benefits outweigh the concerns people may have. Similarly, the openness of people to use wearables is what companies should aim to achieve in the workplace.
Clear intentions, transparency, use of proven and trusted software, and regulation compliance are the fundamentals that will lead to higher acceptance of wearables among workers. Let’s take a more detailed look at some of these best practices.

Clear intentions

At first, companies need to make clear why they want to implement wearables. It starts with the realization that their main benefits lie in the ability to improve workers productivity and wellbeing. Managers should not use wearables to micromanage their employees. Instead, their primary goal should be to help employees be more satisfied and productive.
Worker using smartwatch in a warehouse
Wearables are most effective when used to provide workers with necessary information when needed, offer an always available data input, keep their hands free to work, or share health-related tips and alerts. You can learn more about benefits of workplace wearables in our previous article.

Transparency and discussion

According to research from PWC, more than 38% of people don’t trust their employer about the use of gathered wearables data. For employers, it is fundamental to establish the trust of workers in the technology. Luckily, with the increasing number of benefits that wearables bring to the workplace, it becomes easier to explain “why”.
Essential for the process is transparency and communication with employees. Before introducing wearables, there should be an intensive discussion about  intentions, plans, goals, and at least one more important topic: employees have to know what data will be gathered and where or how it will be stored.
Companies should incorporate all related details into formal guidelines, regulations, or contracts. The data above shows that a young workforce, mainly millennials, are more open to wearables utilization and new technologies. So, if companies build on this, the integration of the technology will be even smoother and more effective.

Trusted and proven software

The crucial part of wearables integration is software.The right choice of this component can help companies save many concerns regarding privacy, transparency, and security. That’s why at Resco, we also put a lot of effort into security of our solutions. And recently we also brought Resco Inspections to wearable devices, further extending the possibilities for companies to optimize their processes. With proven technology, it’s easier to gain the trust of workers.

Integration of workplace wearables

As wearables’ impact on workplaces grows, there are common concerns related to most new technological phenomenons. But, as the experience from the consumer market shows, it shouldn’t be scary to address these issues. Workers’ understanding of technology and companies’ clear intentions is all that matters.
With common sense in transparency, communication, and regulations compliance, wearables implementation within industries can be straightforward and beneficial right from the beginning. And as wearables start to gain more traction in enterprise, it’s time to get on board as well.
You can start by taking a look at Resco Inspections, available also for wearables.