Wearable technology is all the rage. Not only does it allow complex technology to be squeezed into everyday devices such as watches, it also helps users monitor anything from their heart rate to the number of calories they have burned.

New research has suggested that wearable technology could have beneficial uses outside of the fitness arena, helping firms create a happier and more productive workforce.

A preliminary report, entitled The Human Cloud At Work: A Study Into The Impact Of Wearable Technologies In The Workplace, has found a positive correlation between the use of wearable tech by employees and improved performance in the workplace.

After questioning 300 IT decision makers in the UK and US over a one month period, the early findings from the research revealed an increase in productivity (up by 8.5%), and job satisfaction (up by 3.5%) in those employees who used wearable devices.

The report marks the second phase of a two-year project between Goldsmiths University and IT hosting company Rackspace.

During the study three types of wearable tech were utilised by employees. These were as follows: GenerActiv, a high-velocity accelerometer wristband for measuring activity and movement; a NeuroSky Mindwave, a compact biosensor EEG for monitoring brain activity; and a Lumoback device that acts as activity and posture coach.

As a result of the report’s initial findings Dr. Chris Brauer of the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths University, who is leading the initiative, argued that more firms need to adopt cloud computing in order to accommodate the growth of wearable tech in the office.

“These results show organisations and employees now need to be developing and implementing strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the workplace,” Dr. Brauer said.

Dr. Brauer also went on to describe wearable tech as “arguably the biggest trend” since the emergence of tablets.

Researchers will now focus their efforts on examining the longer-term implications of the report results, extending the duration of the study and increasing its sample size.

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