If you’ve ever ran in place, marched up and down your stairs, or did laps around your house late at night trying to get to the coveted 10,000 step mark, you’ve probably worn some sort of electronic fitness tracker.
Wearable technology, such as Fitbit bracelets or Apple Watches, have quickly increased in popularity since they made their debut a few years ago, and this trend isn’t one we anticipate going away anytime soon. People are infatuated with hitting daily goals and seeing how much their fitness efforts pay off.
With the popularity of these fitness trackers comes a bigger question, specifically when it comes to business. Beyond counting steps and calories, is there another use for these devices that employers can use to boost productivity in the workplace? New research by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth campus thinks so, which is why it’s launching a new study to investigate.
While we anticipate those results, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of technology as a whole on productivity in the workplace.
The end of tedious tasks
In the past, people spent hours doing tedious tasks, such as manually making updates to an office schedule or payroll. Now, technology can take those time-sucking tasks off the to-do list. At first, many people worried that this technology would slash jobs, giving more work to robots instead of humans. The opposite is true.
According to researchers at Deloitte, technology has actually created more jobs than it has destroyed. Hard, dangerous, and dull jobs have seen a steep decline since 1921, which has made it possible for people to stretch their creative wings and find new ways to advance our society.
The study also found that as technology advanced, so did productivity. Professionals weren’t as caught up in tedious day-to-day tasks, but instead are now able to focus on results-generating work.
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A step closer to work-life balance
One of the biggest concerns with the influx of technology is the constant connectivity it affords. Today’s world makes it easier than ever to reach people. From email and text messaging to notifications through apps and so much more, it’s hard to fully leave the office behind when you clock out of work.
On the surface, this can feel like technology would inch us further away from the coveted work-life balance so many professionals strive to achieve. In reality, it’s actually bringing us closer to it.
Now, workers can be productive in a setting that’s most inspiring to them. Oftentimes, this means the home office or a coffee shop. Likewise, employees that need to stay home with a sick child can do so while still logging into work to tackle a few items on their to-do list.
There are many ways technology has made it easier to access work, which in turn has made it easier to spend more time with family. No longer being tethered to a desk means no longer having to choose between family and work. It’s balance.
Going back to basic human needs
The end of tedious tasks has also meant the end of work life as we know it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, wearable technology has gotten more people on their feet in an effort to reach a certain number of steps or miles, every day. This technology has helped its users move more, which is a basic human need.