Many businesses often find themselves lagging behind when it comes to adopting the newest technologies. This is sometimes due to the cost of implementation, and sometimes due to concerns about privacy, or appropriate use by employees. However, many employers just don’t realize just how useful some of these technologies can be, and are reluctant to pursue something that they don’t understand, or aren’t sure how to put to use. With the next big technology push being that of wearable technologies such as smart watches and glasses, many employers find themselves wondering how these can be useful in their industries. If you’re one of them, keep reading as we cover some of the most common uses for wearables in the workplace today.
1.Hands-free Access to Information
If you’re someone that spends most of your day behind a computer, this might not seem obvious, but wearable glasses can be an absolute game-changer for people that do any kind of field work, like installer’s or repair personnel. Imagine a car mechanic on a sled underneath a car, who has to slide out, stand up, and review a paper diagram of the problem they’re trying to fix, before crawling back underneath. Now imagine that same mechanic has instant access to that same manual while underneath the car, so they can make a direct comparison to what they’re working on, without having to take the time to get up and go hunt for the information. This is just one example of how many people with hands-on and physical jobs, like an HVAC technician working on a furnace in someone’s attic, can make use of wearable technology.
2.Logistics and Metrics
The uses here range from helping to dispatch drivers and workmen to different calls based on their GPS locations, to tracking time of arrival and time of completion. This can work for field service technicians, delivery services, couriers, etc. You can also see how this can help you track not only the driver’s, but any packages, times, and missed attempts. We’ve already been doing a lot of this for years, but with awkward and clunky hand-held scanners, and GPS based computer aided dispatch systems. Now, technology is such that the same job can be done by a piece of equipment that is just a fraction of the size, and is significantly easier for the employee to keep up with, since a smart-watch is worn, not carried. As a manager, you can use these to see who is responding to calls in a timely manner, and who may be slacking off a bit, in addition to knowing who is closest to that emergency call that just came in from a client.
3.Instant Access to Customer or Market Data
Having a business lunch with a client? You no longer need to say you’ll look into something and get back to them. With wearable technology linked to the internet, you can look-up for the information that you need to quickly answer any questions. You can also pull up client account history and data while on the way to the restaurant so that you can personalize your meeting. You have instant access to market data as well, so that you can answer a phone call and give your client up-to-date information while cooking dinner at home.
4.Freedom of Movement
Many Millennials are becoming used to flexible scheduling, and a 24/7 work pace, where they might leave early in the afternoon, and then put in a few hours from home late at night. As long as there isn’t a specific need to be in the office, many people now prefer to work remotely, and keep odd hours. Instead of taking 4 hours of paid time to go to a doctor’s appointment, many employees now prefer to make the time up in the evening or the weekend if possible.
Wearable technologies like smart watches allow the employees to be accessible no matter where they are, so this kind of flexibility is possible. They are able to seamlessly transition from work time, to leisure time, and back, and the constant access to the internet from anywhere, also means that they can work from anywhere, at any time.
You might be surprised how much health and fitness is wrapped up in these little devices as well. We all know that employee wellness is key to having productive and happy workers, and these little devices can really help in this area as well. Not only do the employees appreciate having them, so that they can track their fitness, you can also use them to show them you care about their well-being, while boosting your productivity. Simply reminders to get up and take a walk when they’ve been sitting behind a desk for 3 hours or more, or to go get a glass of water.
Empowering people to take care of their health can lead to positive improvements in both their home lives, as well as their productivity and satisfaction at their job.
Again, this is just a small sampling of some of the most common benefits to having wearable technology in the workplace. The possibilities for custom applications and other industry-specific needs are endless, and new software is being developed all the time to help make these devices more efficient and cost effective. So what are you waiting for? See for yourself what wearable technology can do for your business!
Marleen Anderson is part of the team behind Saxons, Australia-based company providing IT support services and IT training. She is a great technology addict with huge interest in entrepreneurship.