The saddening norm of the modern-day workplace is to bend backward for your employer no matter what you are doing, who you are with, or where you are. Your email notification dings at 9:00 pm on a Friday, you feel obligated to respond and prove your commitment to the company. The reality of this hustle culture lifestyle is that it leads to increased stress, burnout, and mental health conditions (anxiety, depression, etc.). In fact, over the past year, Indeed has reported a 67% increase in worsened burnout symptoms—no doubt from the stress of remote work and the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees may or may not be aware of it but they are in need of support. How can leaders help and show their support? Take action. It is the responsibility of leaders to champion digital wellness.
The Downsides of Remote Work for Wellness
According to a recent Gallup study, fully remote workers are facing substantially more burnout than in-office workers. Remote work is a double-edged sword. While there are perks of only having to roll out of bed to log on in the morning, save money on the commute, and spend more time with your family, there are also increased feelings of being “trapped at work” and the well-being tolls that follow. Did you know? Burnt out workers are, in fact, 63% more likely to take sick days and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. This impacts worker well-being and comes at an expense to the company, its culture, productivity, and even the bottom line. This must change.
During the peak waves of the pandemic, working in-office versus remote was not an option. However, with vaccinations ramping up and cases declining, employees are now being given the golden ticket to decide for themselves. While there is some freedom to purely working from home, remote work’s glaring downsides must also be highlighted. When work becomes home, and home becomes work, the lack of distinction can increase feelings of isolation. Remote work also places barriers to easy collaboration. Despite these challenges, 82% of US employees would still prefer to work from home moving forward past COVID-19. So, to combat the well-being impacts of the preference for remote work, leaders must stay ahead of the trend and support all aspects of employee well-being moving forward.
With there being a “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months” (Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft), it’s not likely that the technological leap in progress will revert to pre-pandemic times. With remote work and digitization here to stay, employers must take advantage of the opportunity to leverage their employees’ technological savvy skills and champion digital wellness. The hustle culture stemming from always being online while remote working has created an unhealthy expectation for employees that impacts their mental health.
How to support employee well-being moving forward? Digital Wellness.
Forbes defines digital wellness as “the optimum state of health and well-being that each individual is capable of achieving while using technology.” So why not champion digital wellness through using digitized mental health solutions? While continuing on the path of increased digitization into the future, mental health programs powered by digital technologies can allow employees to achieve optimal well-being through the improved technological streams. These solutions can remind workers to take a step away from the blue light, get moving, or even take a mindful moment. Although it may sound paradoxical, technological mental health training can actually be the solution to digital wellness.
Instead of letting technology detriment your employees’ mental health, do your part and be part of the change towards digital mental health solutions. The headversity personalized resilience training is designed to cater to your organization no matter where your employees are located. In-office, at home, or on the job site, our platform is designed to build resilience skills in real-time in the workflow.