Let’s face it. With celebrities, politicians, sports personalities, families and business people, devices like Fitbit, the Apple Watch and Android Wear, are all the rage. For early adopters, wearables connect them with their personal apps in an easy and convenient way. They can track their workouts, sleep patterns, send text messages plus a whole lot more. 

But do wearables have a viable future in the workplace?

I was keen to find the answer to this question and so I began to read what other leading companies and analysts had to say:

According to Accenture Technology’s research, it is clear that they do see a viable future in the workplace. Stating, “wearable technologies have a clear potential to disrupt every industry - including oil and gas, healthcare, media, retail, public service, warehouse, agriculture, construction, automotive and also change how certain employees perform their jobs”.

A recent report by Cornerstone OnDemand also believes that wearables do have a place within the corporate world. Out of a survey of 2,000 workers, 72 percent expect that wearable tech will eventually become a standard workplace offering.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), recently discovered that in a study on 1,000 U.S. adults, that 77 percent of respondents think that one of the most important benefits of wearable technology is its potential to make employees more efficient and more productive at work. While 46 percent said they think companies should invest in wearable technology for their employees.

So far I had uncovered that yes, there is definitely a future for wearables in the workplace, but why?

In a recent survey, Salesforce Research asked how 500 business tech adopters were currently using, piloting, or planning to integrate wearable technology into the enterprise in any form. Salesforce has published these findings in a special research report titled, Putting Wearables to Work

Research unearthed these five key takeaways:

1. Wearables in the enterprise are strategic to business success, say our surveyed businesses:

Forward-thinking companies see the opportunity to harness the constant flow of data available through wearable devices. They believe that the influx of information will shape the business world by creating new technologies, services, and even entirely new industries.

2. Nearly 3x growth in wearables is expected across the enterprise in the next two years:                                                             

In looking at how wearables can be adopted in business, we categorize this into two primary groups: employee wearable tech use and customer wearable tech use. Basic work activities are just the tip of the iceberg for employee wearables. Customer-centric use cases dominate the role wearable tech will play in employee use over the next two years.

3. Smart watches are leading the enterprise wearable tech race:

Thanks to the innovation by Apple, the company has definitely set the scene and raised consumer and business awareness of the endless possibilities and opportunities that come from a smart watch. Data can be collected to track ones personal behavioural patterns, interests and also provide key information to complete daily tasks.

4. Wearables-generated data will be an enterprise game-changer:

With the next generation of wearables like Apple Watch hitting the market, there’s a flurry of business app announcements like Evernote, Invoice2go, and our own Salesforce Wave, among others. This ecosystem of enterprise-focused apps — whether they provide real-time notifications or at-a-glance business insights — bring another layer of data to the table, making it more important than ever for businesses to develop action-oriented strategies.  

5. An expanding app ecosystem is necessary to fuel enterprise wearable tech adoption:

Just like the Salesforce AppExchange, it is critical to wearables tech that there is an app ecosystem to bring another level of innovation, practicality and productivity to the adoption process. As 30 percent of B2B adopters cite the lack of business applications as a primary challenge in implementing wearable tech. Among respondents who indicated they have yet to incorporate wearables into their business plans, 25 percent say that they’d be motivated by lower cost and 15 percent by devices that can better multitask.

To gain a greater insight into these findings, download your own free copy of this research report, Putting Wearables to Work by clicking below: