With the rising awareness around mental health issues related to our digital lives, people are increasingly cautious of the extremes of digital consumption. As a matter of fact, over the years people have adapted to ways of monitoring their phone usage through smartphone monitoring apps that help you to keep a tab on your phone usage. Parents have also become increasingly aware of the dangers that incessant screen time pose to children. However, in terms of the business world, the incorporation of digital wellbeing norms has been comparatively slow and hence there is a relatively slow progress in developing an awareness around digital wellbeing at the workplace.
Research tells us that digital activities lead to both positive as well as negative effects and so it is extremely important that these are identified, recognized and managed. Smartphones lead to interference or distraction from full involvement in complex jobs and increased screen time reduces concentration, focus, and comprehension. Technology’s convenience has also worsened multi-tasking to some extent. Maybe in small doses but it is an obstacle to productivity, if not monitored or restricted. With a pandemic like COVID-19 hitting the world, everything has gone digital, be it schools or workplaces. This has led to an even bigger need of promoting digital wellbeing in offices.
In a world where corporates promote employee wellbeing, it becomes a moral duty of managers to take care for their employees’ overall wellbeing. This not only helps in promoting a good work environment and better employee wellbeing but also adds to a non-restricted continuity in business and enhanced productivity of the organization. There is a need for businesses to create digital environments that are encouraging towards employee wellbeing and, thus, efficiency.
This will help people engage with each other apart from their daily work maintaining harmony, balance and most importantly a healthy communication. With more brands coming together to take this step forward, it will allow users to track their digital footprints and understand the pros and cons of this. This understanding will further allow them to create a solution for the issues they have been facing or atleast reach out to relevant brands or people offering a solution.
Here are a few things corporations/organizations can always start from -
- Digital wellness hour with an expert - Allow different teams to be exposed to an expert once a week to understand the importance of digital well being and how they can overcome these small hurdles by following a few basic steps suggested by the expert. This will allow people to open up, analyze, and get the desired help they are looking for.
- Sign up your employees for Virtual Volunteering - Just like before, volunteering still plays an important role in people’s lifestyle. The act of giving creates a sense of positivity among people giving them a purpose and allowing them to people who really need it.
- Virtual Team Building Activities - Conduct virtual game sessions, word plays, antakshari, etc to give your employees a break from their daily routine. Encourage them to participate in the play.
- Encourage Virtual Health and Fitness - It's important to keep oneself physically and mentally fit to perform optimally. Having virtual Yoga or meditation classes, 15 mins of workout break led by expert trainers can help people stretch some muscles. This will allow their mind to relax and take a break from their monotonous work, engraving exercise even when they are at home, and allow them to be physically and psychologically fit.
- Digital Rewards - Engage in digital rewards to acknowledge good performance. This will create positivity in the mind of people to keep up the good work.
With the gradual shift of everything moving to digital it has become extremely important that we also focus on the health and wellness of the people around us. While digital transformation and adapting to these digital changes has become the need of the hour, at the same time it is important that the organizations focus on the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees.
Now that we all are working from home, we have to understand the importance of digital wellbeing, keep ourselves sane and give our 100% for effective results. With companies understanding the importance of physical, psychological and emotional well being, distance will not be a barrier anymore. It’s time to engage and encourage digital well being in c-suites!