Wearable Devices and the Workplace
The use and presence of wearable devices in the workplace is on the rise and is expected to increase as new devices and applications are developed and become available. Because such devices are generally more sophisticated than traditional, handheld devices and computers and have the ability to track physiological functions and individual movements and record the surrounding environment, there are clear workplace benefits. Such devices can enhance workplace safety, aid worker efficiency and improve communications among the workforce as well as with customers and clients. Further, such devices can be used for training, monitoring and recording employee conduct.
However, an employer should recognize that there are also clear risks and drawbacks to this technology as wearable devices may create safety issues if an employee is in a dangerous job and lead to lost productivity if an employee is more focused on their wearable device than on their job duties and responsibilities. Further, an employee may be able to access inappropriate information and content during working hours. A wearable device may also lead to harassment and invasion of privacy issues among other things because the device permits an individual to record the private conduct of others and access highly personal information (i.e. religion, sexual orientation). If connected to the employer's network, the employer's confidential information and trade secrets are at risk of being compromised.
Because wearable devices can create myriad workplace issues for an employer, it is critical for an employer to develop, implement and enforce a policy addressing the proper use of wearable devices in order to decrease the potential for employer liability. Lastly, an employer should make sure to actively monitor the use of wearable devices so as to decrease the potential negative effects on the workplace. An employer should be sure to implement safeguards so as to adequately protect their legitimate business interests in managing and maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
Policies and Documents
- What are some safeguards an employer can implement to minimize the potential for employer liability when it comes to wearable technology in the workplace?
- What other workplace policies will wearable technology impact and cause to be updated?
- What is wearable technology?
- How can an employer best manage and monitor wearable technology in the workplace?
- Are there any risks in allowing employees to use wearable technology in the workplace?
- Is there any benefit to allowing employees to use wearable technology in the workplace?
- What are some risks for an employer if employees are using Google Glass?
- Are there any benefits to permitting employees to use Google Glass in the workplace?
- How may an employer monitor or restrict the use of Google Glass in the workplace?
- Should an employer monitor or restrict the use of Google Glass in the workplace?
- What are the difficulties in managing and monitoring Google Glass in the workplace?
- What is Google Glass?