June 14, 2017 By Jen Mathews

Next-Gen Wearable Devices that Boost Productivity

June 14, 2017

By Jen Mathews

Read More from Jen Mathews

June 14, 2017

Next-Gen Wearable Devices that Boost Productivity

By Jen Mathews
Senior Public Relations Manager

Workplace attitudes towards fitness are changing. Nearly three-quarters of millennials now believe employers should be involved with their health and wellbeing. Health-conscious employees are starting to dominate the workforce, and employers need fresh ideas to cater for their needs. Fortunately the trend towards wearable technology is beginning to bridge the gap between personal requirements and professional ones. Wearable fitness monitoring devices like FitBits are seen on almost every wrist in the office, to monitor physical health and record their workouts. But a new generation of wearables are bursting through office doors to make employees aware of both their physical and mental health.

Feel The Vibes

One example of this new generation of work-conscious wearable devices is Thync. Created by neuroscientists at MIT, the Dorito-shaped gadget attaches to the user’s eyebrow and emits gentle, low-level electrical pulses to create “vibes” of productivity or calm. Got that Monday feeling and can’t get going? Program it to drive the productive vibes. Drowning in the depths of your workload? Get the calm vibes flowing! It can even help put you to a deep relaxing sleep, if your nerves are keeping you up the night before a big presentation or meeting.

Breathe Easy

It’s reported that stress causes 1 million workers to call in sick in the US everyday. High demands, lack of communication and tight deadlines all contribute to health-related employee burnouts. Sometimes the greatest challenge in tackling stress is acknowledging that it’s a problem in the first place. Stanford University’s pebble-sized device Spire tries to address this by offering users awareness about their stress levels. By syncing with a smartphone, the device detects irregular breathing patterns and sends a notification saying things like “you seem tense”, and offering breathing exercises as ways to relax. Spire encourages employees to be more aware of the state of their mental health. Often, it’s not until these issues are acknowledged, that something can be done about them.

Get Motivated

Happy workers are productive workers. A study by Warwick University found that workers who were happy at work were as much as 12 percent more productive, while staff that were unhappy took a 10 percent hit to their productivity. So wearables like Fitbits that track nutritional intake, active calorie burn, and sleep, can improve happiness by helping users reach fitness goals and get enough rest. And there’s a next generation FitBit out there called Neurosky that goes one step further. It uses a brain-computer interface, or a neural-link, to allow users to track their heart rate, fatigue and stress levels. Fitbit and Neurosky offers frequent motivation for employees to push themselves to meet their goals.

By quantifying data that was previously intangible, these next generation wearable devices are making people more conscious of their behavior and it’s effects on their health. So if knowledge workers are getting smarter about watching for burnout, employers need to do the same!