Thursday, February 4, 2016

BE-ing @Work: Wearables and Presence of Mind in the Workplace

Heidi Forbes Öste, School of Human and Organizational Development

Expectations and demands in the changing contemporary workplace are driven by emergent technologies.  Ubiquitous in nature, they are designed to enhance human and organization potential.  These technologies provide access to information and connection at all times. They are increasingly reliant on human relationships and connection.  BE-ing one’s best self in each interaction amidst distraction and health-related issues challenge presence. Wellness and mindfulness in the contemporary workplace relate to individual health as well as productivity and engagement.  The study examines the affordances of wearable technologies (wearables) in correlation to presence of mind in the workplace.  Wellness wearables with functions related to potential causes of presenteeism (lost productivity from hindered presence) were used in this study.  The findings are applicable for design, human resources and organization development professionals, and scholars. This study provides insight into potential interventions to meet the demands of the contemporary workplace through emerging technologies.  

Key words: wearables, presence, presenteeism, productivity, sociomateriality, human computer interaction (HCI), social strategy, wearable technology, engagement, social technology, cognitive enhancement, workplace wellness, well-being, UX design

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