In the modern working world, employees face the burden of “always-on culture” and “telepressures” from the endless stream of emails, adapting to ever-changing technologies and constant pressure to be available online. However, technology does not always have to be harmful. Instead, it can be leveraged to facilitate employees’ wellbeing.
Technological advances are changing workplaces in a variety of ways, including in the way employers provide benefits and educate their employees about options available to them. Employers are increasingly harnessing the power of technology to make work processes more efficient and effective. In other words, technology has empowered employees, employers, and other stakeholders too.
Technology has encouraged employees to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to their health. The heightened level of health awareness and the ability to digitally track progress helps motivate employees, encouraging them to stay on course and commit to achieving their personal health goals. That said, embracing technological innovation puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and can instead greatly reduce the risks of stress and burnout.
The question is, how to wisely implement technology in our daily life that is often tied to “always-on” culture? The answer is quite simple: Laszlo Bock advised in her book “Work Rules!” that employers only need to choose good user well-being technologies, including techs that can create better workplace environments, social norms, and expectations to positively influence how employees use their devices.
One of the best ways employers could do to effectively manage technology usage is to intensively remind employees that spending too much time working on a laptop or phone could give a bigger negative impact than improved productivity. Focusing too much on the screen without some movements could also lead to fatigue. It is advisable for employers to encourage their employees to regulate their use of technology.
Some software, such as RescueTime of Everhour, are available to monitor application usage and the duration that your employees spend on their laptop, allowing them to wisely spend their time online. Time and display tracking also help employers understand which employees are overworked, thus, able to prevent burnout before it’s happening.
Gamification has become an important part of wellness programs as companies are looking to manage health care costs. Gamification not only helps employees in achieving health goals but also improves workplace relationships through healthy competition. The principle of the game itself can help employees commit to small changes in their lives on a daily basis, which can help employees hit their health goals in the long run.
Employers can build a system into their internal systems mechanisms that incorporate stopping points into applications, nudging users to decide whether to continue an activity. This will help employees break free from the flow of data usage and reassess their continued work. The system could also help employees disconnect from emails while on vacation or outside of works, allowing their productive-self to regain faster.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped human’s work in many sectors. AI can also help encourage healthier internet and behaviour lifestyles. In particular, when employers encourage the use of AI in the workplace, it can help manage digital work environments such as sporting out emails into categories, making urgent email easier to locate and only push primary emails to the user’s phone, allowing employees to limit work exposure. In addition, AI-enabled chatbot could be used to cut down technology-related negative behaviours as well as ameliorate stress and anxiety on the job.