Will COVID-19 Make Wearables Mainstream?

August 13, 2020   |


As concerns rise over a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus cases, so does the urgency among employers to protect their workforce. Employee well-being is more critical to sustaining operations than ever, and an undeniable need has arisen for smarter ways of working and more connected technology in the workplace. Amidst this changing environment, wearable tech is becoming increasingly prevalent.


On an Upward Trend

The rapidly rising trend of smart wearables can be attributed in part to the fact that they can be quickly implemented and return immediate results in protecting against Covid-19. We’ve seen an average 84% decrease in close employee contacts in facilities within days of deploying wearables.

The acceleration of this tech has been furthered by a more extensive need during the pandemic. While smart devices were once reserved for a percentage of the workforce focused on intense physical labor, they now offer safe distancing and contact tracing features beneficial to all employees. We’re seeing companies utilize up to three times the amount of wearables among their workforce during the pandemic.

Set for the Long Haul

The coronavirus has put a spotlight on how wearables can help with the problem at hand today. However as the technology becomes more widespread, more employers are realizing other benefits connected devices offer, including:

  • – Improved safety culture:
  • Wearables may be deployed to help workers build social distancing skills and employers manage virus outbreaks. Their value extends, however, as they command a lasting role in the workplace by reducing injuries 58%.
  • – Enhanced employee morale:
  • Employees are concerned about exposure to Covid-19 at work. Wearable tech offers enhanced security during a time of uncertainty, helping workers return to and remain at work. The devices’ injury-reducing features further boost morale as workers experience less pain and injury in the workplace.
  • – Increased worker productivity:
  • Less illness and less injury lead to less overall disruption to operations, including an 88% reduction in lost work days. Worker productivity has also been shown to increase 5% with the use of wearable tech.

Overcoming Misconceptions

The urgent need for safe distancing and contact tracing systems has required more employers to consider wearables and the theoretical concerns associated with them. In turn, they’re finding apprehensions can be easily addressed, such as: 

  • – Privacy and Data Collection
  • As more workplaces use wearable tech to keep workers safe from Covid-19, it is more apparent how the devices and data collected are intended for safety enhancement – not disciplinary purposes. 
  • – Ensuring workers wear the devices 
  • Discreet and comfortable devices are easy to wear, and gamification even makes wearables fun for workers. Proper training further helps ensure companies’ investments are utilized and worthwhile. 
  • – Cost of investment 
  • While cutting-edge technology typically carries a high unit price, the cost of a value-focused wearable tech solution is actually lower than the return on investment.

Looking Ahead

With Covid-19 concerns persisting, the demand for wearable technology is certain to continue  into the foreseeable future. 

Eventually, when we turn the corner on this disease and social distancing and contact tracing lose relevance in the workplace, wearables can remain onsite and in use, if they’re solving other safety problems.

At that point, workplaces will benefit from the habits formed during this time – workers picking up their device every day, management utilizing data to identify risks – and wearables will have become mainstream.

Haytham Elhawary

CEO & Cofounder, KINETIC

2019 KINETIC © All rights reserved.

2019 KINETIC © All rights reserved.