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Forget tablets, employees want "wearables"

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Wearable technology could revolutionise the workplace, as Employees across Europe are ready to adopt the at work, according to new research by ADP.

Workplace tools have evolved rapidly in recent years, and almost a fifth (18 percent) of employees report that they already have access to some form of wearable technology in the workplace. The next wave of wearables – such as augmented reality headsets, biometric identification and holographic video conferencing tools – will create a wealth of opportunity for businesses to further improve productivity, connectivity and security.

Employees see the potential of wearable technology in improving their working lives in a number of ways: 33 percent would organise workload according to productive times of the day; 33 percent would manage stress, for example, through monitoring caffeine intake or encouraging mindfulness; 28 percent would like to be alerted to a drop in energy levels; 28 percent would identify potential health risks to seek medical advice.

Commenting on the findings, Annabel Jones, HR Director at ADP UK, said: “Wearables present a major opportunity for companies looking to boost productivity, efficiency and employee engagement. We can expect to see a number of new tools enter the workplace in the coming years, which will not only have the potential to create a fully connected workforce but also enhance learning and development practices.”

Despite the high interest in adopting wearables, more than half (52 percent) of employees say that they are concerned about the amount of personal data employers can access via wearable technology. However, attitudes towards privacy vary between countries. While as many as 60 percent of German employees express reservations, only 36 percent of Dutch employees feel this way.

Overall, UK workers are the most hesitant to use wearables, with as many as one in five (20 percent) saying that they would not use wearables at all, compared to 10 percent in France, and eight percent in Germany and the Netherlands. Annabel Jones added: “Multinational companies that are planning to utilise wearable technology should be aware of the cultural differences and attitudes across Europe. Employers that successfully consider changes in attitudes and also develop a coherent and transparent framework for exposing data findings will improve employees working patterns.”

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