How to Work With a “Glasshole”

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A man is seen wearing Google Glass It’s Tuesday morning, and you have a full day of meetings and interviews ahead of you. You walk into the lobby to greet your next interviewee and welcome him into your office. As you open the door to the lobby, you see the candidate grab his briefcase and turn to head your way. You extend your hand and begin to introduce yourself when you notice something is a little different about him. He’s wearing glasses, but wait! Are those Google Glass?

How do you respond?

Are you intimidated? Are you paranoid? Are you thinking, “what kind of person wears Google Glass to a job interview?” These things might all be running through your head when you first encounter a Google Glass wearer in your office, and while it may not be common today it might be in the near future. In 2018, there are expected to be 21.1 million Google Glass wearers. If that’s the case, then you’re going to be face-to-face with a Google Glass wearer sooner than you think!

Google Glass wearers haven’t gotten the best reputation so far. With Google Glass being available to the public by select invitation and a measly $1,500, Google Glass wearers have been deemed “Glassholes.” The general public hasn’t really taken kindly to Google Glass so far. For example, a woman in San Francisco was attacked for wearing her Google Glass in the bar. There have been many other reported instances like this, which have proven that people generally feel uncomfortable interacting with a person wearing Google Glass. While much of the conflict that happens with Google Glass wearers takes place in public, I can’t help but wonder how people would respond to a Glass wearer in the workplace.

Workplace Wearables?

Wired’s Mat Honan tested out Google Glass for a year but wasn’t clear on where it was appropriate to wear,

“My Glass experiences have left me a little wary of wearables because I’m never sure where they’re welcome.”

Thankfully there have been endless articles on Google Glass etiquette, but most of the articles are for the people actually wearing Glass. Since non-Glass wearers haven’t responded so nicely to Glass wearers, I thought I would put together a few tips on how to interact with a “Glasshole” in the workplace.

1. Don’t Stare

If you feel uncomfortable with a Google Glasser staring at you, chances are they feel just as uncomfortable if you stare at them. Plus, they might snap pictures of your creepy, staring face. Do not stare if you end up interviewing or working with a Google Glass wearer. This is pretty much common sense stuff here, but it’s super easy to forget! On a side note: If someone is confident enough to wear Google Glass to a job interview there probably isn’t much you can do to make them feel uncomfortable.

Every new technology causes initial public discomfort. It took society a long time to accept cell phones as commonplace. -David Pogue, Scientific American

2. Don’t ask to try them on

If you’re working with a Glass wearer, asking to try on their Glass is not advised… no matter how bad you want to try them. First you’re going to irritate the Google Glass wearer, they don’t want your grubby hands smudging up their Glass. Second, you’re going to get extremely distracted, be less productive, and possibly in trouble with your boss. Studies show that 3 out of 4 people say they get distracted at work. Can you imagine the distractions you would have with Google Glass? Plus if you’re interviewing a Google Glass wearer and you ask to try the Glass on, this could be seen as an invasion of the candidate’s privacy or just plain unprofessional.

3. Create a Google Glass Policy 

Consider creating a Google Glass policy that gives Glass wearers the freedom to wear their Glass, but also helps non-Glass wearers feel more comfortable in the workplace and not left out! Designate certain times where Glass wearers are encouraged to wear their Glass freely, but maybe ask them to remove the Glass during certain meetings or presentations.

Ultimately if Google Glass really takes off in the next few years, we may have to get more used to the thought of working with Google Glassholes. Ultimately the most important thing to keep in mind is to treat the Glass wearer the same as you would treat someone wearing regular glasses.

How do you feel about wearing Google Glass at work?

Read more in Workplace

Shaley McKeever is a digital media coordinator at Red Branch Media, a full-service B2B marketing agency, primarily focused on human resources and global workforce vendors.
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