During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital well-being became a hot topic in the workplace, especially for people who moved to a remote work setup, where the boundaries between work and personal life became blurred.
Research indicates that individuals worldwide spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes per day staring at screens. Furthermore, remote workers tend to spend an additional 2 hours in front of screens compared to those working in traditional office settings. This prolonged screen time has had adverse effects on both mental and physical well-being, underscoring the significance of prioritizing digital well-being.
Cases such as musculoskeletal disorders, rapid-eye strain, vision problems, and massive resignation in the workplace due to burnout were some of the consequences of unhealthy use of technology.
In light of this, how can organizations cultivate a harmonious digital work culture?
1. Promoting Work-Life Integration
Organizations can implement flexible work arrangements, establish clear boundaries around after-work communication, and empower employees to prioritize self-care and personal time. Promoting regular breaks and discouraging excessive overtime can help prevent burnout and enhance overall well-being.
Moreover, encouraging colleagues to refrain from contacting others outside of office hours unless it is urgent, allows employees to effectively disconnect, making work-life balance achievable.
2. Cultivating Mindful Technology Usage
Implement measures such as setting limits on social media usage or organizing digital detox initiatives. These efforts can significantly reduce distractions and enhance focus in the workplace. Additionally, employers can offer training sessions and provide resources on effective time management techniques and digital productivity tools which enable employees to optimize their work efficiency in a digital environment.
3. Evaluate Workplace Digital Tools
The temptation to try out numerous digital solutions can be strong, especially with its possibility to revolutionize the industry.
Always involve your IT team when introducing new technology, as they can provide valuable insights on available options and practical considerations. It is also essential to take into account the employees’ preferences and needs. Choosing the right tools should engage them the most thus, their opinions hold significant value in the process.
4. Avoid Meeting Fatigue
Video call fatigue has become an issue, especially in 2020 where the usage of video meetings doubled. While video calls can save time and provide a sense of face-to-face interaction, they can also be draining for participants who constantly need to be engaged. To prevent burnout, organizations can implement a dedicated day every week without virtual meetings.
5. Provide Resources and Support
Organizations can offer resources and support to assist employees in maintaining digital well-being. This can include educational workshops on managing digital overload, access to mental health resources, and providing tools for stress management and relaxation.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced relationship with technology in today’s digital age is no longer a luxury but an essential in ensuring employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall well-being. It recognizes the potential challenges and negative effects that can arise from excessive screen time, constant connectivity, and information overload.