The WFC Group Blog

Wearables in the Workplace: What to Watch for in 2017

Posted by Neil Shah on Mar 21, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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The conversation around wearable tech is still very much alive, though more of a cautious whisper. A lot is happening behind the scenes, and there's plenty of speculation around what new advances will be made to integrate new technological advantages into our work and daily lives. What's clear is the next evolution of compact, personal gadgets is not far off, so it's worth considering the implications they'll have for your workplace sooner rather than later.Smartwatches and fitness trackers have taken a noticeable backseat to flashy virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) at major conferences like CES and the Mobile World Congress this year. Still, the market for wearables is growing with a healthy 16.9% lift in Q4 alone. As the technology continues to improve its usefulness, it will be difficult to not want to integrate and take advantage of its many business benefits, and there are steps we can take now to prepare for this.

Expect Improvements on Existing Advantages

The potential promises of wearables are still being realized, but the future seems to be rooted in apps, at least to start. The next Fitbit may be more similar to smartwatches, and the dependence on applications moves these devices closer to smartphones. Experts seem to expect that wearables will be independent of smartphones for mobile network connectivity.

Health and fitness are expected to continue to be a prominent function, as people take interest in measuring activity. Wellness is always a great corporate goal, and wearables will likely improve the potential to build a culture of wellness and support, like many people already do together with friends and colleagues using simple Fitbit challenges. We can already imagine the potential for additional workplace activity integrations as well, such as improved trackers to reinforce safety and compliance.

Accessibility and security will also see new opportunities. Wearables have the potential to make handling administrative tasks more efficient and improve scheduling. They also could increase security through personal biometric measurements, replacing swipe cards or shared passcodes.

Start Bolstering Your Mobile Smarts

Wearables will challenge businesses similarly to how personal smartphones and tablets have. By allowing personal phones in lieu of a separate business phone, companies can continue to leverage workplace mobility while limiting burdens and underscoring the expectation of responsibility. We've experienced many degrees of device policy while working diligently with clients to set up Kronos Workforce Mobile to their advantage. Strong policies, such as strict password requirements on personal phones with business emails, set the foundation for new technologies to come.

Topics: Workforce Trends