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Kronos Survey Indicates Workers Around the World are Poised to Embrace Wearable Technology

October 29th, 2014 at 11:23 am

CHELMSFORD, Mass., Oct. 27, 2014 – A new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and conducted by Harris Poll1 finds that workers around the world are ready to embrace wearable technology at work, with nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of online adults seeing at least one potential workplace benefit. The Kronos “Wearables at Work” survey examines the differences in perception and use of wearable technologies in the workplace of online adults ages 18 and older in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Great Britain (G.B.), and the U.S.2

News Facts

  • The world agrees that wearables could benefit the workplace. Seventy-three percent of adults around the world believe that wearable technologies could benefit the workplace in at least one way, including areas such as increasing efficiency, productivity, and safety.
    • While nearly half of U.S. adults (48 percent) believe that wearable technologies could benefit the workplace, this substantial percentage was the lowest out of all other regions: 96 percent in Mexico, 94 percent in China, 91 percent in India, 72 percent in Germany, 69 percent in Australia and France, and 66 percent in G.B.
  • U.S. behind the curve for wearable technology use at home. Only 13 percent of U.S. adults currently use wearable devices in their personal lives as opposed to 73 percent of adults in China, the highest-ranking region. Other countries from high to low were: India (72 percent), Mexico (70 percent), Germany (40 percent), Australia (30 percent), G.B. (27 percent), and France (22 percent).
    • For example, only five percent of U.S. adults use smart headphones, as opposed to 61 percent of adults in China.
    • Likewise, only five percent of U.S. adults use fitness monitors, compared to 21 percent of adults in China.
  • Wearable technology use more prominent at work, especially in countries that have embraced personal use. Countries where adults have adopted wearable technology for personal use appear to use wearables for work-related activities as well, and adoption of wearable technology is higher at work than for personal use across the board.
    • A whopping 82 percent of adults in India and Mexico, and 81 percent in China, have ever worn technologies such as headsets, smart badges, and barcode scanners for work-related activities, as have more than half (56 percent) of adults in Germany. Only 20 percent of U.S., 38 percent of G.B., 43 percent of Australia, and 45 percent of France adults have used a wearable device for work-related activities.
    • Only eight percent of U.S. adults have used telephone headsets (e.g., wired or Bluetooth-enabled devices) for work-related activities compared with 60 percent of adults in China and India, 52 percent in Mexico, 26 percent in Germany, 22 percent in Australia, 18 percent in G.B., and 16 percent in France.
  • Efficiency, work/life balance, and company-paid devices key to employee adoption. Around the globe, workers agree on the top-three reasons that would make them more likely from a personal perspective to use wearable technology for business-related use at their place of work: it made them more efficient; improved work/life balance; or if their employer provided the device.
    • In the case of making workers more efficient, 33 percent of U.S. adults feel this is a reason that would make them more likely to use wearable technologies at work compared with 62 percent in Mexico, 60 percent in China, 58 percent in India, 45 percent in Germany, 42 percent in Australia, 41 percent in G.B., and 37 percent in France.
  • Improving safety consensus key to company-wide adoption. From a group or company perspective, increasing safety for staff and customers is the number-one factor that would make workers around the world more eager to use wearable technology for business-related purposes: 27 percent of U.S. adults, 28 percent in France, 35 percent in G.B., 38 percent in Germany, 43 percent in Australia, 49 percent in China, 54 percent in Mexico, and 56 percent in India.

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