Wearable technology can boost productivity 'by up to 8.5%'
Hywel Roberts, May 02, 2014
The use of wearable technology to track employee wellbeing can significantly increase employees' productivity, according to research by Goldsmiths, University of London.
The study, Human Cloud at Work, was compiled in conjunction with cloud provider Rackspace, suggests data collected from wearable devices can accurately measure the conditions under which employees are most productive.
Workplace experiments carried out by the university studied the productivity of employees after weeks of wearing devices that measure their posture, sleep and temperature. The productivity of these employees increased by up to 8% over three weeks. Job satisfaction also increased by up to 3.5%.
Associated research by Vanson Bourne asked 300 IT professionals about the use of wearable technology in the workplace. It found that more than a quarter (29%) of UK business have projects in place to bring wearable technology into the workplace. Employee wellbeing (16%) is the most common reason for employers to introduce the technology.
Goldsmith Institute of Management Studies senior lecturer Chris Brauer, who led the research, told HR magazine the technology is "right round the corner". He added that many more companies may have plans for the technology, but are not comfortable revealing their investments yet.
"The data that we can collect now drive real business results," he said. "If you ask someone when they're most productive, their answers are not likely to be that accurate. If they have the data in front of them, they're much more likely to know how they work most efficiently."