Technology may be a double-edged sword when it comes to employee well-being. The working dynamic has shifted as a result of technology, which now enables one-click remote access with everything from emails to conference calls and servers.
While this has simplified working life, it has also fostered an 'always on' work culture, with many workers struggling to maintain a work-life balance. This may have a severe effect on employees' physical and emotional health, resulting in decreased absenteeism, production, and retention.
However, when utilized properly, technology may assist in facilitating a healthier and happy workforce. Health-related technology, like wearables, assists in overcoming engagement obstacles, and as many as one in every two workers (50 percent) now using them to monitor their health.
According to the 2018 Global Attitudes to Benefits Study (GBAS) by Willis Towers Watson, 35% of workers use technology to track their behavior, such as sleep and exercise; 26% monitor their food; 22% use websites and social media forums to discuss health concerns; 17% monitor a medical condition; and 16% utilize online technologies for medical consultations, like telemedicine or a virtual GP.
Employers should consider how they might use technology to assist their workers in enjoying healthier lifestyles. Hence, in this blog, we will examine the top five ways technology may be utilized to improve employee wellness in this article.
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1. Place A Premium On Preventive Care
Employees are encouraged to adopt a proactive instead of reactive approach to their wellness using technology.
The platform's simplicity of use and real-time feedback keep workers' wellness at the forefront of their thoughts, guiding their daily health-related decisions. With health-related technologies, the onus is now on the person to take proactive measures and maintain control over their own welfare, rather than being passive beneficiaries of treatment defined and supplied by healthcare practitioners.
Increased health knowledge and the opportunity to monitor progress digitally assist in motivating workers, encouraging them to remain on track and commit to attaining their own health objectives.
2. A Holistic Approach To Wellness That Is Unique To Each Individual
When health and wellness initiatives have poor engagement levels, it is often because workers do not perceive them to be relevant to their needs. The advancement of technology enables a more tailored approach to health and well-being. One person may be under a lot of stress – and might even benefit from a meditation app – while another may be looking to improve his fitness levels – in which case activity trackers would be the best option.
A one-size-fits-all strategy is ineffective. Technology has the potential to be a cost-effective and easy method of providing tools and resources that are personalized to an individual's priorities, requirements, and state of well-being.
3. Establishes A Network Of Support
For many, technology serves as a way of social connection with their peers. Employers may leverage this relationship and use it to promote healthy lifestyle choices in the workplace.
By establishing a digital support network, coworkers may share their success, swap health ideas, and ask concerns. By including this social component, you may assist boost morale and creating motivation.
Gamification takes this a step further by creating a sense of healthy competitiveness among coworkers. This method is not appropriate for everyone – some workers may see their health and wellness journey as purely personal – but having it accessible ensures that all employees are provided for.
For many workers, health – especially mental health – is a private matter, and the prospect of discussing concerns with an employer may be intimidating. Fear of criticism may act as a deterrent to seeking treatment, even more so when discussing sensitive topics like depression, anxiety, and addiction.
As per Willis Towers Watson's 2018 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, up to one-in-two workers (45 percent) would feel uncomfortable discussing stress or anxiety difficulties with their boss. Whether via digital resources, connections to relevant support groups, or access to discreet helplines, technology provides an alternative to face-to-face therapy.
Even though the manager-employee association is by definition secret, this may provide workers with peace of mind and enable them to seek the necessary assistance.
5. Useful Insight
Employers may get vital knowledge from health-related technology such as wearables. Employee-generated data insights may assist businesses in developing a thoughtful approach to health and wellness initiatives.
Combining this data with that from benefit claims experience, illness absences, and medical risk assessment enables the identification and forecasting of patterns, resulting in early action and healthy and productive staff. Due to the usage of sensitive health information, it is essential that workers get their permission.
Employees should be confident that their health information will remain private and safe, and employers should take the time to explain the security measures employed.
Employers must earn workers' confidence in areas related to health, particularly in their use of personal data, if they want to be recognized as the go-to resource for enhancing their health and well-being.
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