Over reliance on Technology- How Does it Influence Employee Health & Wellbeing

In our modern fast paced world of work, technology surrounds us. This can be both positive and negative. Of course, within the workplace technology has given us major advantages and made all our lives and workplaces more efficient. Although there are so many positive advantages that technology has added to the workplace, it can’t be ignored that technology can also have a negative effect. Technology is something for employers to be mindful of when maintaining employee wellness. The amount of time people now spend on technology will influence our health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

There are certain areas that are important to look for to ensure employee’s health and wellness in relation to technology in the workplace.

Disconnect & log off

In a time when employee’s work life balance is at its most skewed, people are bringing work everywhere with them. The days of leaving work and switching off are starting to become rare. Between email and social networks there is always a link to work. Constantly being plugged in means there is no break for the average employee, answering emails at midnight or connecting with work colleagues on LinkedIn on a Saturday afternoon leaves little room for detachment. This begs the question as to when does a personal life happen and how will this leave the employee’s health and wellness in the long run.  Employers should encourage employees within the workplace not to reply to any work queries outside working hours, so the employee can mentally switch off from work and relax.

Lazy

Technology across the board has made people lazy and it now takes less physical effort to do many jobs as the computer has taken over. As individuals we all need to be constantly stimulated and learning, with reliance on technology the same personal development may be slower and resulting in a lazier workforce. To any corporate wellness company, such an attitude and approach could be detrimental in the long run for the employee’s health. More interactions within the workplace are crucial to ensure that employees don’t become lazy and completely reliant on technology. We encourage team bonding activities or brain storming sessions, where each team member must come up with an idea, so they are not relying solely on technology and increases brain stimulation.

 

Communication

From the outside it could appear that this is the easiest time in history for communication within society and the workforce. We have endless resources at our fingertips, from email to informal chats such as Slack and Fleep. We are communicating more than ever, although this may not be the most productive form of communication. Before technology, employees spoke to each other face to face, be in the office or over lunch having invigorating conversations. Fast forward to today and offices are  now filled with people sending back and forward links for cat memes and work information.  Will these forms of communications inspire stimulating conversations and build friendships within the workplace. We encourage face to face meetings and to a have a certain level of human interaction within the workplace every day to avoid technology becoming the only way we communicate within a company.

When examining the effects of technology, it would be simply untrue to ignore the many advantages that it has brought to the workplace. It has meant that individuals have more resources and can complete a much larger number of tasks on any given day. Technology is like anything in life, finding the balance is how it will work best for both the company and for the wellbeing of the employee.

Technology has many pros and cons and it is up to us to figure out what works best.  Embrace the work group chats, although when it comes to 10pm on a Saturday night, be in the moment in your personal life and leave the work group chats behind. Judging by what has become, both work and societal norms, corporate wellness programmes can change how both employees and employers approach working life and can help with finding the balance that works for you.