Despite being a trending topic, wearables still in many ways remain an underdeveloped field that is reserved for tech-hungry geeks and successful athletes. The increasing use of wearable devices in medicine, virtual reality games, music and recreation does not mean they are adopted by the general public, even though all tech giants are working on developing the ‘next big wearable’. So the question is this: is there are place for wearables in business?
Today we look at a few ways wearables can improve productivity and revolutionize business processes:
Today serious business players are already installing (or at least developing) NFC systems to speed up personalized access of staff members to different office services. Smart offices may prove to be more efficient since every part of the office can be set to recognize wearable devices, the person wearing them and perform automatic operations, adapted to each particular user and situation. From room access to automatic computer log-ins and lockouts, automation can help reduce not only time but the number of security breaches due to carelessness or forgetfulness. Also, because wearables provide a wealth of detailed information on how office premises are used, this data can be analyzed to make rational improvements to managing those resources and cutting costs.
With wearables, it is much easier for management to monitor employees via task tracking, distance racking, time spent on each client, time spent on similar tasks, and so on. Wearables can be easily synced with different time management software to log in work hours automatically which can speed up project planning. However, employers should always remember that overcontrolling kills productivity and creativity, and therefore keep the balance between “knowing enough” and “interfering with privacy” (we’ll talk about this issue further in this article).
In the Forrester report, according to J.P. Gownder, “perpetually connected wearables will enable workers, partners, and customers to experience new levels of immediacy, simplicity, and context in their mobile computing experiences”. And that is true: employees can benefit tremendously from wearable devices in context-driven information moments where they can enjoy instant yet discreet access to valuable data. With wearables, relevant information is available hands-free exactly when you need it.
Video surveillance becomes much more informative and interactive with the use of wearables. It is possible that in the future, every visitor will be given a wearable band so that each video snippet of the guest will be tagged with certain keywords. This provides information on visitor’s whereabouts, actions, interactions, and so on. It facilitates monitoring and control of various security parameters in one centralized location. This is not just a chance to heighten security but also to analyze visitor behavior in order to improve visitor experiences and make it more customized. For example, additional staff can be deployed to the right office location to meet the needs of a visiting party.
More and more businesses are favoring the idea of a location-independent office, where teams move freely from room to room, hall to hall, to create a mobile environment that makes work more efficient and the atmosphere more productive. With wearables, mobility can be easily achieved and whole teams can effectively work on PCs that will recognize them and attune their experience to their preset parameters. That way professionals can benefit from the whole range of office services regardless of their location.
Business adoption of wearables will largely depend on how enterprises manage to solve various problems surrounding wearable technology today:
It’s safe to say that there are more questions than answers to the dilemma of how to use wearables in the enterprise. Despite their growing popularity in business, wearables are still at the beginning of their journey in the enterprise and have only limited functionality. But knowing those limitations and discarding unrealistic expectations can help use wearables in a way that allows to streamline some business processes and change the way offices are run for the better.