Wearables have become increasingly mainstream and the trend is not expected to slow any time soon. As wearables become just another option for internet access, it may change the way that HR software is used and alter the way that HR is handled in a few ways.
Expand Wellness Offerings
At this point, some companies offer wellness programs, but these programs are generally based around gym membership discounts and data that employees manually enter for fitness tracking. Fitness trackers make it possible for companies to offer employees the option to use the devices to record movements, take health measurements, and use this data to truly give a rounded picture of employee wellness. By helping employees to stay healthy in a real way, companies can mitigate absences and potentially boost productivity.
Can Be Used to Monitor Sleep
In certain professions, like long-haul trucking and medicine, the amount of time that an employee sleeps is a concern for human resources. Some wearable devices can monitor the amount of time that an employee sleeps. This may help to protect companies and ensure that employees are complying with regulations.
In addition to sleep time, wearables may also allow companies to use health measurements to make sure that employees are medically capable of working. Some wearables can monitor heart rate and responsiveness, which may be crucial for some professions.
Simplify Working on the Go
Mobile access to HRIS has made it possible to work on the go, sending employee alerts, allowing employees to enter time and attendance data, and opening up avenues for communication. Wearables further simplify working on the go, giving employees a hands free option for performing tasks within the HRIS and putting information literally at employees’ fingertips.
May Create Work/Life Balance Issues
As is the case with all BYOD adoption, adding wearables to the mix may make it difficult for HR to manage employees’ work/life balance. When employees can check email and perform job tasks when they are on their own time, it may set employees up for burnout. Employers may also face issues with labor compliance or with paying excess overtime, as employees must legally be paid for time spent performing these tasks.
Introduces Greater Security Concerns
Any time an employee is able to access sensitive company information from a device that they can bring with them, it introduces security concerns. Wearables are even easier to forget, lose, or have stolen than other types of mobile devices, so it is important to make sure that the HR software that is being used on the devices has automatic logout features and other security measures in place. Employees should also be coached on proper use of the software when accessing it using wearables.
Introduces Privacy Issues
While monitoring employee wellness information, sleep time, and other vital statistics may be helpful for certain professions, companies must be very careful about not infringing on privacy or breaking any laws when introducing wearable options. Companies may work to bypass these issues by making wearable access optional, by detailing monitoring features that are in place, and outlining the reasons for the monitoring features.
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