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Wearable Technology in Business: Friend or Foe for HR

By: mprinz Monday August 8, 2016 comments

Wearable_TechStep aside Teflon trousers and spill-resistant dresses. Wearable technology is gaining acceptance as more consumers purchase clothing and products designed to help them stay clean, fit and better informed. There are smartshirts and smartbras and smartwatches to track biometric data including heart rate, stamina, fatigue level and a whole lot more. Last year, according to an online survey by Forrester, 20% of Americans use wearable technology. By 2017, that number is expected to double. And the list of new smartproducts, their capabilities and uses will continue to grow and evolve – not just at home, but in business.Why?

Because helping employees stay fit or get healthy, lowers healthcare costs and reduces absenteeism. It’s simple arithmetic. 

Because telecommuting is becoming the norm and communication is critical especially when employees are remote. Timekeeping and productivity monitoring apps provide insights into work habits and patterns of employees. Again, it’s simple arithmetic. 

Because reducing redundancies increases efficiencies, saves time and money. Efficiencies we don’t even think about. How many times a day, do you fumble for your phone in a pocket or a purse? According to Daniel Debow, senior VP of emerging tech at, “it’s quicker to push a button on a smartwatch”. Who can argue with that? Simple arithmetic. 

Technology is great if it comes with discretion. Knowing a company can track every move is unsettling. Employees want trust and value privacy. Suspecting your boss is stalking you via GPS or looking at your vitals before your next big presentation is anxiety inducing especially knowing that thing on your wrist isn’t just for telling time anymore. It’s a blood pressure checker, a personal trainer, a record keeper and a best friend to your boss.


Wearable technology in business: friend or foe?


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About the Author: mprinz