Employees sceptical of workplace wearables

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More than a third of employees do not trust their employer not to use the data from wearable technology against them in some way, according to research.

The survey, by PWC, also found that 55% of respondents would use wearable technology in the workplace and share the data collected with their employers in exchange for benefits such as flexible working.

Among the other findings:

  • 46% of respondents would accept a free piece of wearable technology if their employer had access to the data recorded.
  • 61% of respondents want their employer to help them to become more active
  • 65% of respondents want their employer to take an active role in their health and wellbeing, using technology.
  • 59% of millennial employees would be happy to use an employer-provided smartwatch.

Anthony Bruce, people analytics leader at PWC, said: “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.”