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UK workers unsure on wearable technology

UK workers are the most hesitant to use wearable technology of all European employees, according to a report from ADP.

The Workplace Technology Insight 2015: UK and European employees' perspective report found one in five (20%) UK workers said they would not use the gadgets at all. This compared to 10% in France and 8% in Germany and the Netherlands.

Over half (52%) of all employees surveyed said that they are concerned about the amount of personal data employers can access via wearable technology.

The research also found, however, that 44% of all respondents believed technology is a valuable tool in gaining insight to their employer’s mission. This varied between countries, however, with 54% of French workers drawing a positive link between technology and their understanding of business strategy, but just 36% feeling the same way in Germany.

ADP UK HR director Annabel Jones warned that employers planning to use this technology should be aware of different attitudes across Europe. “Employers that successfully consider changes in attitudes and also develop a coherent and transparent framework for exposing data findings will improve employees working patterns,” she said.

The ADP research also found that one third (33%) of employers are interested in using wearable technology to monitor employee stress levels.

It found that 33% of employers would use the gadgets to organise workloads to match spikes in productivity, and a further 28% plan to use them to check on their employees’ energy levels. Over a quarter (28%) are interested in using devices to identify health risks.

Jones said: “Wearables present a major opportunity for companies looking to boost productivity, efficiency and employee engagement. We can expect to see a number of new tools enter the workplace in the coming years, which will not only have the potential to create a fully connected workforce but also enhance learning and development practices.”