Wearables remain a trending topic, its expanding audience including not only geeks and healthy lifestyle adepts but professionals in medicine, gaming, music, and recreation. All tech giants are competing to develop the ‘next big wearable’. But have you asked yourself a question: how can this ‘next big wearable’ help in running a business?
To answer this question, let’s look at a few ways wearables can improve office productivity and enhance business processes.
Personalized Office Access
Today, multiple business players are installing near-field communication (NFC) systems to speed up personalized access of their staff members to different office facilities.
Smart offices prove to be safer and more efficient as every part of the office can be set to recognize wearable devices and thus adapt to each particular user and situation. For example, face recognition can help reduce the number of security breaches when it comes to room access or automatic computer logins and lockouts.
NFC-equipped devices also provide a user-friendly experience for visitors. Each visitor can get a special guest card or a wearable band with corresponding access settings. This way, visitors will feel comfortable moving around the premises without intruding into closed-off facilities.
What’s more, wearables provide a wealth of detailed information on how office premises are used. This data can be further analyzed to introduce usability improvements and optimize in-office resource utilization.
The Next Level of Security
Video surveillance can further enhance visitors’ experience. Every visitor’s wearable band will tag video snippets of the guest with certain keywords, thus providing information on the visitor’s whereabouts, actions, interactions, and more. It facilitates monitoring and security control by storing all the data in one centralized location.
This is not just an opportunity to heighten security but also to improve and tailor visitors’ experience based on their behavior. For example, a company is able to meet the specific needs of a visiting party when being aware of their whereabouts at the office facilities.
Smart Time Management
With wearables, it is much easier to monitor employees’ task tracking and time spent on different assignments. Wearables can be easily synced with the time management software in use to log work hours automatically.
However, employers should always remember that overcontrolling kills productivity and creativity. IoT developers from Itransition advise to keep the fragile balance between knowing enough and interfering with privacy.
Data Access on the Go
According to J.P. Gownder, Forrester’s VP and Principal Analyst, “perpetually connected wearables will enable workers, partners, and customers to experience new levels of immediacy, simplicity, and context in their mobile computing experiences.” It’s true, employees can benefit tremendously from wearable devices if they can enjoy instant yet discreet access to relevant data based on the context. For example, system administrators can receive alerts on their smartwatches in case of a system failure.
Health tracking is one of the most popular uses of wearable devices. Employers can take advantage of this function to enhance their workers’ lives. The use of wearables can be obligatory when, for example, employees need to work in extreme temperatures or abnormal radiation levels. In this case, wearable devices can track the environmental conditions and alert to health-threatening parameters.
If you feel your employees’ general wellbeing may correlate with their performance, you can make their needs more visible through wearables. By tracking time spent in front of the computer, special apps can remind users of taking a few minutes to do recommended stretching, breathing and eye relaxing exercises.
Wearables also come in handy for team-building purposes. You can announce a sports challenge where, for example, your employees are to walk sixty kilometers per week. Everyone who fancies participation should track their progress through wearables and share their intermediate results with other participants.
Location-independent Office Organization
Businesses are increasingly favoring the idea of a mobile environment where teams move freely from room to room. Wearables significantly facilitate such mobility by allowing employees to effectively work on various PCs that will recognize them and attune their experience to preset parameters. As a result, professionals can benefit from the entire range of their workplace infrastructure regardless of the location.
Wearables Adoption Challenges in Business
In spite of the big advantages that wearables are able to bring to each office, the technology poses a few challenges. Thus, prior to adopting wearables for your business, consider the issues that can bring more harm than productivity.
Security and Information Leaks
Wearables that rely on Bluetooth connection can be susceptible to cyber-attack. Some people believe, though, that this problem is exaggerated as the functionality of wearables is limited, and they do not pose a serious threat to corporate security.
However, businesses shouldn’t forget about common-sense security measures that apply to any other digital device. Companies need to monitor and regulate access to sensitive data and account synchronization across various devices. Also, if businesses use wearables extensively, they must have a data loss prevention procedure in place.
User Privacy Limitations
If allowing the devices to record data about people and surroundings, business owners should introduce user privacy policies for wearables in the office.
These policies should clearly state what data can be recorded by wearables, and what data can be recorded only with the user’s consent or otherwise will be considered a privacy breach. Each party should be aware of the boundaries in order to feel comfortable using wearables.
Another set of questions should touch upon the period of the recorded data storage and the permission to disclose it to third parties.
Inefficient Data Storage
Wearables cannot compare to PCs or even smartphones in terms of data storage and management. Consequently, it’s critical to stipulate the areas where either wearables or other digital devices should be used to increase productivity in the office. If the company fails to do so, it can lead to data losses and inefficient use of resources.
It’s safe to say that wearables are making their way into enterprise settings. In spite of their somewhat limited functionality, they are growing popular due to their ability to enhance office usability and security. When businesses realize wearables’ limitations and discard unrealistic expectations, they can use wearables to streamline business processes and change the way offices are run.
About the author: Andrey Koptelov is an Innovation Analyst at Itransition, a custom software development company headquartered in Denver. With a profound experience in IT, he writes about new disruptive technologies and innovations in IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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