We talk about productivity a lot. A lot. And it’s no surprise – business owners are always keen to boost productivity, and get more out of their team. That’s why we were so excited to see some gadgets on the CES show floor that could have a major impact on workplace productivity.
Here are four CES launches that could mean a more productive team:
Headphones that prompt you to get back to work
Whether your team is working in an open-concept space or private offices, distractions always manage to intervene.
“Getting in the zone can feel impossible,” says Mindset, the Montreal company behind headphones that can help train your brain to concentrate better, and subconsciously tune out interruptions more easily.
The wireless noise-cancelling headphones use EEG technology to gently alert you whenever your concentration wanes.
“Over time, these alerts train your mind and rewire your brain to better tune out distractions,” explains Mindset.
The headphones also detect when your brain is becoming fatigued, and will prompt you to take a break – even recommending what length of time your brain needs to re-energize. Over time, the app will show you what hours you’re most productive, and provide insights to help you improve your efficiency and use your time wisely.
A desk accessory that measures workplace quality
There’s ample research to show that the environment can have a huge impact on productivity. But it can be difficult to take that research and apply it to the idiosyncrasies of your individual team members.
The GreenMe cube was designed to gather information on unique needs of each of your employees, and compile and analyze the data to make it easy for business owners and facility managers to make simple tweaks to the environment to boost productivity, wellness, and happiness.
Here’s the idea: you put a cube on each worker’s desk (they come in seven bright hues), and it measures a wide range of data points related to employee health and comfort, including temperature, lighting quality, noise, air quality, and humidity. Workers can also use an app to point out issues with their environment, or make suggestions.
This data is then fed into a central data pool that helps decision makers analyze the information, and identify areas for improvement.
A flu test employees can take before work
Nothing can take a deadline off the rails like a flu epidemic sweeping through the office. The problem is, presenteeism (employees coming to work sick) is a real problem – in fact, one UK study found that over two thirds of employees go to work when they’re unwell.
Part of addressing this issue is about reducing the stigma around taking a sick day – but it’s also about education. Enter the Ellume home flu test: an over-the-counter rapid diagnostic test for influenza A and B that provides results in 15 minutes.
It’s still under clinical evaluation, but the idea is that the user administers a nasal swab, and then drops a sample into a one-time-use analyzer that plugs directly into their smart phone. The app will then tell them whether or not they have influenza, and offer a telemedicine consultation with a doctor.
Encouraging this kind of fast and easy testing could greatly reduce the number of employees coming to work while contagious (the first five to seven days of illness), while also helping to reduce some of the stigma around sick days.
A new-and-improved whiteboard for efficient brainstorming
“The often-flawed logistics of the modern meeting make it easy for participants to feel disengaged and for vital ideas and discoveries to become lost,” says Seog-gi Kim, executive vice president of visual display business at Samsung Electronics. “Today’s workers require more powerful and flexible technologies.”
And the latest technology that Samsung is bringing to the office is Flip. The brainstorming board-slash-screen allows up to four participants to share content (wirelessly, or via various device ports) or even annotate directly on it with their finger.
The screen can be easily downloaded or shared to remote team members in real time, and has embedded search tools to let users go back over 20 pages of brainstorming quickly and easily. Your meetings just got a whole lot shorter (once your team stops playing with all the fun features, of course).