The use of wearables in the workplace is not developing because of a lack of trust as people worry that their employer may use the data against them and not for their benefit, according to new PwC research.
Workers who would be happy to use a wearable device at work are most likely to want to trade their personal data in exchange for flexible working hours, free health screening and health and fitness incentives. Two thirds of respondents want their employer to help them to become more active.
The younger generation of millennial workers are the most comfortable sharing their personal data. Despite privacy concerns, six in 10 would be happy to use a work-supplied smartwatch and this rises to seven in 10 if they’re getting a better work deal in return. This compares to only three in 10 of workers aged 55 and over.
Technology such as a virtual reality headset, that doesn’t require the sharing of personal information but does offer benefits to workers such as facilitating collaboration whilst working from home, would be attractive to almost half of the workforce and six out of ten millennials.
Overall, only 46% of people surveyed say they would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their employers had access to the data recorded.
Even if this information is collected in exchange for workplace benefits, such as flexible working hours and working from different locations, the number of people who would use a wearable device at work rises to only just over half.
“Despite more people owning wearable devices, many people are still reluctant to use them in the workplace due to trust issues. Employers haven’t been able to overcome the ‘big brother’ reaction from people to sharing their personal data. Digital tools and analytics advances could be the key to unlocking a more engaged, happy and higher performing workforce - but first employers must gain the trust and confidence of their people to acquire, store and use personal data appropriately. If employers want to overcome the trust gap they need to show that they are serious about data security and communicate openly with their staff about the benefits for them.”
Anthony Bruce, people analytics leader at PwCData privacy is the main barrier for those workers unwilling to share their information. Four in 10 say they don’t fully trust their employer to use it for their benefit and just over a third say they don’t trust their employer not to use the data against them in some way. Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.