In order to navigate through potential challenges and stresses of digital technologies, employees need something that we can call digital wellness.
In today’s age of technology, the line between work and personal life has become increasingly blurred. With the rise of remote work and virtual learning, the digital revolution has brought many advantages, including increased efficiency and connectivity in the workplace. However, the integration of technology has also resulted in a digital overload that can lead to decreased productivity, burnout, and negative impacts on mental and physical health. As a result, promoting digital wellness in the workplace has become essential to ensure that employees have the necessary support to navigate the potential challenges and stresses of digital technologies. This article will discuss the importance of digital wellness in the workspace and its impact on employees‘ mental and physical health.
The Impact of Technology on Work-Life Balance: Finding a Healthy EquationThe widespread adoption of digital technology has taken the business world by storm. The profound impact of technology on productivity and work culture cannot be overstated, especially in recent times. There is growing evidence to suggest that digital technology can improve workplace productivity, and businesses that embrace technology-enabled flexible working have a lot to gain. Studies have shown that 85% of businesses report increased productivity through technology-enabled flexible working, (1) while remote workers can be 25% more productive than their on-site counterparts. (2) The reported benefits of flexible and remote work arrangements include better work-life balance, greater control over work schedules, fewer distractions, and less time wasted on commuting. (3) This proves that digital technology can be used to create a healthier work environment for employees that promotes productivity and overall well-being.
(1) Remote Working Statistics & Charts (2020 Update), Merchant Savvy (2020)
(2) 25 Key Remote Work Statistics for 2020, Business 2 Community (2020)
(3) Covid-19 Outbreak: Supporting Employee Wellbeing, AON (2020)
However, the increased use of digital technology can also have a downside if used without balance or boundaries. The blend of work and personal lives can cause disruptions in healthy work-life balance, leading to increased stress levels for employees. The increased connectivity means that employees can be contacted more frequently, using a range of communication methods, making it challenging to switch off from work during non-work hours. Employees may struggle to resist the temptation to check their work email after hours, leading to burnout, fatigue, and reduced productivity.
A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 40% of UK workers check their emails at least five times a day on weekends or days off. Additionally, over half of the respondents found it difficult to disconnect from work during personal time, highlighting how digital technology can cause work to intrude on employees‘ personal lives.
The intermingling of work and personal life can blur the boundaries between work and home responsibilities. Employers must, therefore, prioritize digital wellness to ensure employees‘ mental and physical well-being is not compromised by technology use. The creation of strategic boundaries for work that respects employees‘ personal lives, a healthy balance of working hours, and educating employees about the importance of digital wellness, can help mitigate these challenges.
Ultimately, businesses that prioritize digital wellness, promote a healthy work-life balance, and allow for flexible work arrangements can improve productivity and promote employee well-being. The need for a digital balance that encourages a healthier, more productive work environment is more pressing than ever before.
What is Digital Wellness?
Digital wellness refers to the practice of maintaining a healthy relationship with technology, including the internet, social media, and any tech devices. It is based on the principle that not all tech is bad, but what is harmful is the misuse of it. It involves being mindful of how much time we spend online, avoiding excessive screen time, and prioritizing our mental and physical health. In the context of the workspace, digital wellness means creating a work environment that supports employees‘ overall well-being and productivity.
Digital Wellness: An Employee Retention Opportunity
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge for organizations worldwide. Many have had to adapt quickly to remote work, while others have faced a decrease in demand or closure altogether. Unfortunately, as a result, multiple companies have witnessed an increase in employee turnover rates.
Despite various layoff announcements in recent months, talent development professionals are still struggling with the risk of critical talent turnover and skills shortages. The need for competitive advantages, especially in the job market, has never been more critical, and businesses must take this seriously to continue thriving.
According to LinkedIn Learning Report 2023, the top five factors that motivate employees to seek new job opportunities include their desire for flexible schedules and the freedom to work from anywhere they want. Additionally, the desire for learning and developing new skills is also among the top factors that drive individuals to job-hop. Companies that offer employees these opportunities will inevitably attract and retain the best talent in their respective industries.
As the pandemic has shown, work-from-home arrangements have gained immense popularity in recent times. Companies need to create an enabling environment that allows employees to utilize modern technologies effectively, which can aid in working remotely. Offering the option of working from home can also position companies as desirable places of work, besides providing their employees with a better work-life balance.
Digital wellness can be instrumental in facilitating work from home arrangements. With employees spending more time online, digital wellness programs can help combat issues such as mental and emotional burnout, which can result from overworking, feeling isolated, or disconnected from work colleagues. By actively promoting well-being initiatives, companies can mitigate the potential risks associated with remote working, and help maintain employee engagement and productivity.
Best Practices for Implementing Digital Wellness in the Workspace
To effectively promote digital wellness in the workspace, companies should consider implementing the following best practices:
Providing resources and training: One way to support employees in developing their digital wellness skills and strategies is by offering them resources and training. This can include online courses or workshops led by qualified digital wellness educators.
Involving employees in the process: It is important to involve employees in the design of a company’s digital wellness policies from the start. This will enable employers to better understand their employees‘ needs and ensure that their initiatives are tailored to their specific requirements.
Incorporating digital wellness policies into company culture: Digital wellness principles should be incorporated into all aspects of the business – from recruitment processes to workplace policies – to make sure that it is embedded deeply into the company culture as well as being noted formally in contracts.
Regularly assessing and adapting strategies: Employers must conduct regular evaluations of their digital wellness initiatives and adjust them if they are not meeting the desired outcomes.
In conclusion, digital wellness is not just a buzzword, but a vital aspect of creating a thriving work culture. Digital wellness means creating a work environment that supports employees‘ overall well-being and productivity. From taking regular breaks to practicing mindfulness, fostering healthy habits is crucial for overall well-being and productivity. By prioritizing digital wellness, companies can retain the best talent in their respective industries, boost employee engagement, and foster a motivated and productive workforce. Let’s take action and create a work environment that supports the overall well-being of our employees, making our company the ultimate destination for top talent.
Chiara Carlucci is a digital wellness educator, yoga teacher, and founder of aum balance. With years of experience working as a content manager in marketing, she discovered how crucial it is to take care of one’s health while sitting at one’s desk for long hours. This realization strengthened her passion and expertise in assisting digital professionals in maintaining balance between work and personal life through a comprehensive approach grounded on yoga and digital wellness.