Wearable devices are becoming increasingly common in the home and in the workplace. For years, devices like fitness trackers, smart glasses, and smartwatches have been popular amongst consumers. However, more companies and employees are willing to use wearable technology too–if it helps them do their job better. In a study by CornerStone OnDemand, 66 percent of employees responded that they would use wearable technology to help them improve their work performance.
One of the biggest trends in wearable technology for businesses today is the smartwatch. Early versions of “smartwatches” have been around for a few decades. However, it hasn’t been until recently that they have really kicked off.
Before the capabilities of a smartwatch were extremely limited and could barely be considered “smart”. Many left users asking, “Why would I need to use this when I can just use my smartphone or tablet?” Now, their capabilities have advanced so much that some brands boast that they can replace the need for a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Will smart watches become commonplace in the office and meeting space? If recent market research is any indication, it is possible. In 2014, 6.8 million smartwatches were sold globally, an increase of 82 percent year over year. With the release of the new Apple watch, sales are expected to soar this year. Here are a few more reasons the smartwatch could be the next big workplace tech trend.
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Younger Workforce
Right now, Millennials (ages 18-34) make up over half of the workforce. By 2030, that majority is expected to increase to 75 percent. Needless to say, they are a vital part of many organizations and their generation has a huge influence on how business is conducted. One of the biggest influences that Millennials have had on the corporate world is the increased usage of technology. The age group is known for being tech-savvy and desires the use of technology for work purposes.
This is reflected in their use of wearables, especially smartwatches. According to research firm Nielsen Group, Millennials make up 48 percent of wearable tech users. Furthermore, 36 percent of them plan to buy a smartwatch within the next 12 months, based on a recent study. With their large numbers and penchant for technology, Millennials could be some of the primary drivers for smartwatches at work.
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Sophisticated Capabilities
Technology has come a long way in recent years. Companies now have access to cloud-based collaboration tools, video conferencing, wireless presentation software, data analytics, mobile tablets, e-learning, and dozens of other devices and programs to help them reach their end goal, faster, The smartwatch is another device that could develop a more prominent role in the workplace.
This is because their capabilities are more sophisticated than ever before. One of the most common uses for smartwatches is to make audio and video calls. However, they are capable of much more. For example, individuals can manage tasks and get alerts to increase their productivity. For employees that frequently need to monitor systems and troubleshoot network problems quickly, the real-time updates feature is essential.
Many smartwatches have as many or more capabilities as a smartphone, only it is conveniently on your wrist whenever you need it. Smartwatches still have a long way to go before they are as mainstream as the smartphone. However, if their progression in the past few years is any indication, there could be at least one in every meeting room or office space.