British businesses could be set for a wearable technology revolution after new research has found that employees would welcome the introduction of such products to the workplace.
Some 45% of respondents to a survey by PMI Health Group would wear technology provided by their company. Wearable gadgets have experienced a huge surge in popularity, with the global market expected to hit 5.8 billion USD by 2018.
Almost one in ten British employees is already offered wearables by their employers (9%), with the figure rising to 26% in London based businesses.
Mike Blake, director at PMI Health Group said: “Already, we have seen several examples of businesses operating company-funded wearable schemes, where employees accept devices in the understanding that the data generated will be shared with their employers.
“Such initiatives can form part of wider health and wellbeing programmes, helping businesses to identify areas of risk and empower staff to take positive action. Not only could this enable a more proactive approach to absence management, tackling worrying trends before they become problematic, but it could also help to reduce claims and health insurance costs in the long term.”
Despite their growing acceptance in the workplace, employee doubts about the use of personal data still persist. Four in ten respondents would object to sharing their personal health-related data with their employers.
Blake added: “When objections are raised, such barriers can often be overcome through clear communication and consultation with employees. It is important for companies to outline what data will remain anonymous and underline that data will not be used in a discriminatory or unfair manner.
“In cases where data has been used to secure a reduction in insurance premiums, employees may also benefit from reduced contributions themselves, which will help to further smooth the process.”