An Augmented, Connected Workforce
When you send a question on social media, how fast do you expect an answer?
A day? An hour? No, minutes.
That’s why, to answer your customers’ questions, your organization needs a connected workforce who’s empowered and knows where to find the answer to respond quickly.
Thanks to the 3rd platform, employees have the insights and devices to become more connected. By adding wearable technology to the mix, how much more could your workforce become further productive and efficient?
Considerations of a wearable workforce
The next logical step for organizations on the road to digital transformation is to add wearables into the connectivity mix of cloud, mobile, data analytics and social. Increasingly sophisticated and the buzz technology for 2015, they have the potential to boost productivity and enhance collaboration.
Tracking employees means they can be called upon immediately to resolve problems or be allocated as a resource where needed. In hazardous environments, instantly knowing where people are is invaluable for health and safety. Feeling connected to the business and to each other also creates an entrepreneurial culture that generates job satisfaction and stimulates ideas.
By making it easier for co-workers to interact with each other, employees can achieve more.
However, this raises the question : when should the organization stop monitoring employees?
Do you need to know where your workers are at lunchtime?
Should you be able to monitor how they treat their health?
Measuring people’s impact on the business is good for attributing praise but has huge possibilities for intrusion.
And do people need more technology in their already overcrowded lives?
Organizations will have to be transparent in how they use wearables. Connectivity has the potential to enhance employee engagement and, by extension, the performance of the whole organization, but get it wrong and it will create mistrust and alienate the workforce, undermining the whole reason for using it.
Capgemini Group CTO
Read what other innovative wearables are available today. Read what some companies are working on to create wearables that adhere to the skin
Key Insights into Creating
a Connected Workforce
Michiel Boreel and Ron Tolido argue that it is a no brainer that enterprises need to make it easy for your workforce to stay connected. Follow their debate as they discuss the challenges and considerations organizations need to bear in mind as they pursue an augmented, connected workforce.
Four Ideas To Use Wearables
in the Workplace
Office workersWhere employees spend significant hours working on computers, health wearables such as Fitbit or Jawbone can alert them to take a break from their work-routine. This data can help human resources improve employee well-being in the workplace.
Museum galleriesA museum gallery tour guide could use Google Glass to provide answers on specific exhibit-related questions based on the specific audience’s interest. They could even dynamically display the tailored, information next to the exhibits in addition to the fixed information which would improve the visitor’s overall experience.
Front-desk or shop floor customer servicesA customer services assistant could use smart watch to locate stock to help customers find the right dress or shoes and even organize a delivery or pick-up point.
Press and mediaNews reporters can multi-task with Google Glass. They can capture on the ground information, conduct interviews during an incident whilst quickly scanning background information such as the site, past history and other live coverage to obtain the most comprehensive update.
Wearables: Coming to a theme park near you?
What is the first thing you can think of when it comes to theme parks? I bet eight out of ten of you would say queues.
No doubt, queuing is part and parcel to a visitor’s experience to a major theme park but what if you could make your customer’s visit more magical by taking some of this pain away?
Theme park operators can equip their Park Rangers with wearables such as Google Glass to provide real-time visibility into visitor traffic and queues. They could use this information to change signage in the park to promote other areas that don’t have significant traffic and include real-time food and drinks promotions at nearby restaurants. Alternatively, they could request additional park rangers to arrive and support with queues, and traffic for the busy areas.
After each day, this collected data from your team of park managers can be analyzed to redirect next day’s traffic routing, cleaning crew’s focus on targeted areas for cleaning and maintenance crew’s high priority items for next day. Over a longer period of time, you can use these insights to shape your marketing and sales and HR strategies.
With wearables, by definition, becoming more of a day-to-day human experience, why not use them to improve the customer and employee experience? Now that would be magical.
Read how Disney is investing in digital technologies including wearables.
The benefits and challenges of wearables
for a connected workforce
Internet of the 90s: The days when it sometimes took up to 20 minutes to connect to the worldwide web. I’m sure, like me, you’re glad those days are over. We’re living in a world of speed and telecommunication and service providers are tasked to providing that to us.
While wearable technology has made its presence felt in the consumer setting, the same wearable technologies offer significant benefits to the workforce in the telecommunications and technology industry.
Firstly, it offers real-time-rapid response. Maintenance and support engineers can respond in real-time using wearables. With Vuzix wearable glass or a smart watch, they could access all the necessary information to do repairs quickly and efficiently while onsite. They could also speak to a remote customer agent or another engineer hands-free when doing maintenance at a cell tower or using telecommunication equipment in the field. This would reduce the number of back and forth trips to the maintenance site.
Secondly, it can help raise employee productivity. Wearables data can also give employees sharper ‘eyes’ to things that could be otherwise missed or not known. Untapping these insights could be used to improve quality of service or zeroing in on proactive maintenance of a part that can go bad. When employees are equipped with these technologies, they can see the increase of their efficiency and value which naturally then improves higher productivity and longer employee retention for the enterprise.
Thirdly, it will improve customer experience. Often customer experience is tied to how companies’ employee treats their customers. This becomes a direct benefit through an improved employee experience.
As the wearable technology becomes more economical and data-security and privacy aspects more carefully managed, telecommunication, media, and technology organizations have the opportunity to stay at the edge of innovation. Any enterprise who wants create a real-time-rapid-response workforce – wearable is the way to go to stay connected.
Find out what other existing times lie ahead for the telecommunications industry
Three Essential Tips for Creating
an Augmented, Connected Workforce
Innovation also comes with prudence. Enterprises should keep these factors in mind when exploring potential uses of wearables:
Consider strong security, controls, audit, encryption and company policies to ensure wearable-generated data is used for business and ethical purposes.
While wearables offer great amounts of data of consumption, usage, and tracking organizations should decide what needs to be mined and analyzed to derive the most beneficial value for the business.
As new technology, the price-proposition of wearables may not yet be feasible for aggressive adoption. Enterprises need to look at increased options of wearables to make the economics work.