13 January 2017

How far should you go to ensure your team is healthy?wearable tech in the workplace

The Independent published an article last week, discussing their worries over the rise of the number of employers who are digitally monitoring their employees.

Wearable tech specifically has made it so much easier to know what your team is up to all the time; monitoring anything from location to sleep quality and fitness. Data can help employers to find out who of their team are the fittest and the healthiest and the impact that this has on the business. But, just because the technology is available, does that mean you should use it to make business decisions?

There are positives about this type of monitoring, even if it’s simply because employees who aren’t normally focussed on their activity levels might become more aware of them and make changes to their routine if necessary.

But, on the other hand, I don’t think any of the gadgets currently on the market can give any employer a full sense of exactly how healthy their team is. Yes, you can look at activity levels or the amount of sleep, but it’s impossible to know everything about someone’s diet, or their surroundings, or their stress levels and mental health. And as an employer would you want to? Where do you draw the line?

The big issue here revolves around something we deal with all the time here at UKFast – the right to privacy.

How much do you really need to know about your team’s life outside of their regular working hours?

I use data to make business decisions on a daily basis, but I’d prefer not to look at my team only in terms of numbers. I don’t believe it’s necessary. Everyone working here has proven to be a great cultural fit during the recruitment process, which is the most important part to creating strong teams. And at the end of the day, I care much more about whether people share our values, than whether they get six or eight hours of sleep every night.

I look at everyone in my team as not only being assets of the business but as people, friends, not machines. As part of that, I trust everyone to be able to look after themselves, as well the job they are employed to do. We provide as many of the tools that the team need and want, to help people be fit and healthy. I also understand they are their own person and should have the freedom to leave the workplace behind when they home every day.

So, how do you ensure people will help your business grow?

I believe that, if you want to create a strong culture where everyone is aligned and moving in the same direction, choosing the right people and allowing them to get on with things is usually all it boils down to. Empowerment and trust are incredible things to have in a business.

I know that every person in my team puts their heart and their soul into this job – and I don’t need a wellness tracker to confirm it.

What do you think? Is health monitoring in the workplace a good idea or bad?

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