Today, a wide range of industries are exploring wearable technology as it has much promise to assist drive greater health, safety and eventually overall productivity. With these promises, the global market for enterprise wearables, including smartwatches, smart glasses, hearables, and exoskeletons, is predicted to reach US$60 billion in 2022, growing by 41 percent annually, according to a Deloitte report.
The report further cited that the technology is making workers more valuable by enhancing their physical and perceptual abilities and giving them superhuman strength, endurance, vision hearing and awareness. Most companies these days are increasingly deploying wearables into the workplace. GE Aviation, for instance, implemented smart glasses to improve its mechanics’ work with augmented reality. After employing them, the company saw enhanced efficiency of up to 12 percent, with error reduction.
Wearables that equipped with sensors can track an employee’s body movements and posture and then detect activities prone to increase the risk of injuries. The technology can also track an employee’s vitals like the level of stress or fatigue, to reduce the potential accidents and injuries.
Powering Workplace Efficiency
Humans cannot work like machines as they get tired after a while working tedious tasks. And this is one of the biggest challenges that confines productivity in the workplace. From physical activities including lifting and putting away multiple items or wasting time walking to and from static work stations, errors are more likely to happen as workers run out of energy.
In the UK in 2017-18, the majority of health and safety incidents reported within the transportation and storage industry caused musculoskeletal disorders. With keeping these causes in mind, there is a need to deploy hands-free wearable technology that can benefit the safety of workers to achieve higher efficiency.
In one another instance, Exoskeletons worn by workers at carmaker Audi to help them lift and carry heavy materials have reduced back strain by up to 30 percent. In addition to this, Lowe’s, a retail company teamed up with the Assistive Robotics Lab at Virginia Tech University to build Exosuits, which aimed to assist employees with lifting shipments off delivery trucks and moving stock on the showroom floor.
Thus, wearable technology can make a substantial impact in easing accidents and enhancing safety. And to do so, businesses need to explore the bigger picture before making the investment in it.
Enhancing Workers Performance with Wearables
Ergonomic workspaces intend to minimize the risk of repetitive strain injuries and accidents resulting from exhaustion. By eliminating redundant monotonous actions, such as time-consuming walks across the warehouse or continuously picking up and putting down equipment, wearable technology can ease the strain on the workers in workplaces.
Most wearable devices are typically designed to enable the user to monitor and keep track of their health and fitness. By leveraging such wearables into the office make employees aware of their personal physical and mental health, encouraging them to be proactive about improving their health, and giving them the improved motivation that ultimately boosts their productivity levels.