How HealthTech Is Improving Wellbeing In The Workplace

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Wellbeing is a precursor to good health. Often times, it’s viewed as a personal responsibility and not something that employers should worry about. It’s time to change this approach towards wellbeing in the workplace, and we have statistics to back it up.

Many studies about the effects of stress have come to the same conclusion – it has a direct negative impact on the immune system, often prolonging recovery from even a simple cold. Reducing workplace stress – and thereby increasing employee wellbeing – is in fact in the best interests of most businesses.

The Impact Of Modern Tech On Stress Levels

If you ask anyone working an office job to name the most common issues of their workplace, you would probably expect them to point towards issues with coworkers, customers, or clients. This isn’t the case. Surveys have shown that the biggest work issues are:

  • Stress
  • Lack of Focus
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Low energy levels

These issues are caused by a combination of factors: increased workload, productivity levels, distracting environment, and more. While technology is often blamed for the stress, lack of focus and all the other issues of a modern workplace we’re experiencing daily, it can also be used to help with stress reduction.

Identifying Workplace Issues With The Help Of Tech

One way to reduce workplace issues is to identify triggers that cause stress, focus issues, productivity issues and burnout. This can be done with data collection. By tracking activity and productivity levels throughout the day, you can discover a great deal about how and when employees do their best work. This, in turn, can help you create the best environment and conditions for them to perform at their best.

Data collection and regular surveys that your employees can fill out (you can set it so they can fill it anonymously) help you identify issues and correct them. Data collection is still a big and touchy subject, as many individuals are very concerned about how this data will be used. Be fully transparent about it, and also make sure they have insights into your daily activities, workflows and productivity levels. This will make them more comfortable with the concept.

Once you have a good overview of any issues, you can work on solutions. Here are some:

#1 Implement Flexible Schedules

The data you collected can tell you when employees are performing best, and what obstacles they might be facing to get work done. Some of them will do the majority of work in the morning, and very little after that, only to pick up the pace in the last hour of their shift. Some might take forever to start working in the morning but will get everything done by the end of the shift. This is because different people have different rhythms. Not having flexible hours might actually hinder their productivity.

If your line of work allows it, offer alternative hours, and offer flexible hours.

#2 Enable Remote Work

When the work environment is too distracting to get work done, stress levels are on the rise. Often times, employees might feel forced to stay late or come in early just to get anything done. One solution is to minimize distractions as much as possible and to offer a good alternative – working remotely. Technology is making remote work a possibility for almost any industry today. From architects to customer service reps, technology is allowing employees to work wherever they are and being up to date on the company schedule. While early studies showed that remote workers were far more productive than their traditional office counterparts, it seems now this may depend on what type of productivity is desired.

In early 2017, remote work pioneer IBM famously reversed its remote worker policy, calling its workers back into the office. It seems that while remote workers may be individually more productive, the company felt they were losing some of the “synchronicity” that happens when workers work together and talk and discuss certain aspects of business among themselves.

This, however, is quickly becoming an issue of the past. Today, there are so many ways to stay in sync with the company while working remotely that arguments like that are just a bad excuse. Thanks to cloud solutions, like Microsoft’s OneDrive, you can easily share and collaborate with co-workers, no matter if you’re in the office or sitting on your terrace.

#3 Promote A Healthier Lifestyle

Overall well-being is improved with a healthier lifestyle, so encourage your employees to adopt it. Stock up on healthy snacks for the break room and offer healthier alternatives to sweeteners. Make a contract with a nearby gym or fitness studio and offer gym/fitness membership as one of the perks of employment. Have regular sports contests – like a friendly match of football between teams or companies. Provide employees with fitness tech like Fitbit and encourage them to participate in weekly ladders of tracked sports activities.

Also, make sure they take regular breaks. There is a mountain of evidence that taking regular breaks can have a seriously positive impact on productivity. Yet, many employees continue to feel guilty about taking them. To ensure your employees are actually taking breaks is to make them see that executives and managers are taking breaks as well.

Improving Wellbeing Improves Productivity

Creating a healthy work environment for employees is not just better for employees, it is better for your business in general. Allowing a certain amount of flexibility that allows your employees to work remotely, or at times of day that work best for them and encouraging them to eat healthier and pick up sports will ultimately lead to better performance.



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