A new concept aimed at increasing the productivity of employees has been floating in the workplace. This process of monitoring and improving employees’ productivity is called “human optimization”. Previously, companies looking to increase the efficiency of staff would probably have offered increased bonuses or installing a new coffee machine. However, with wearable technology, devices are able to create personalized biological profiles of each individual, and allow them to analyse when they are at their peak – the idea of “human optimisation”.
Currently, the innovation is already being used by elite sports teams across the world to ensure their athletes are in tip-top condition prior to a big game. And this area of wearable technology has attracted the interest of hedge funds, banks and consultancies across United Kingdom.
Dr John Coates, of University of Cambridge, who specialises in the biology of risk-taking and stress, said he gets “about one call a week” from financial institutions, healthcare companies and tech firms interested in applying the research and technology in the workplace.
“Up to now, if you weren’t doing well at your job, most people thought the corrective was more information or better reasoning, some kind of psychological intervention. People are just wrapping their brain around this idea that if your body’s a mess, you’re not going to do very well at anything cognitive.”
With these new technologies and gadgets, they could allow companies to link the employee’s behaviour and physiological data to the business performance, and even alert them if they need a day off. Especially in high-risk financial businesses, where staff are often placed under enormous pressure, should the technology work, the wearable could potentially warn the individual to slow down if they are not performing optimally, and the green light when they are “in the zone”. Apart from analysing the user’s biological signals, the device could also potentially predict his physical state days ahead of a crucial meeting.
Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London, said individuals may be able to product their personal “biometric CVs” in time to come.
“It’s not just about other people learning about what makes their employees productive. When workers learn about themselves and get intra-personal knowledge about their own habits and what makes them perform to a higher standard, they find that incredibly insightful.”
This technology could potentially revolutionalise how efficiency and productivity of employees can be improved in the workplace. While it can be viewed as an intrusion of privacy and would probably not be fancied by most, it can benefit the individual in learning more about his working patterns, and be able to produce good quality work more effectively, thus leaving more time for leisure activities. Looking at wearable technology in a positive manner, and if the fine line of invasion of privacy and improving productivity can be properly managed, the benefits of “human optimisation” appear to outweigh the costs.
Follow us on: