The mental and physical wellbeing of employees has long been the priorities of business executives and HR managers. Now with most jobs relying on technology, it has become imperative for employers to ensure the digital wellbeing of their employees too.
But what most organizations often don’t realize is that the digital wellbeing of employees starts by using the right digital tools. When employees have the right tools by their side, it can help them handle their work in a more efficient way, finish up their tasks faster, collaborate better, and experience less stress.
But before investing in a bunch of tools, leaders need to understand the main hurdles and productivity killers in your organization which could be directly affecting the employee wellbeing.
Context switching is killing productivity and employee wellbeing
According to a recent study, context switching is the biggest productivity killer for employees.
In a bid to chase productivity, organizations are constantly looking for the newest tools and technologies that can help employees achieve their maximum efficiency and productivity levels.
But what most organizations often forget is that more tools do not directly lead to higher productivity. In fact, more tools can actually end up hindering company productivity.
Context switching can eat up anywhere between 20-80 percent of your total productivity. Another study claims that on average employees use 60 applications and 4 collaboration tools. Over seven in ten of the employees have to constantly switch between these applications at least 10 times per hour.
When employees have to constantly switch between different work tools, it ends up eating a big chunk of their already limited time with the rest of it taken by endless meetings and discussions. All of which leaves employees with little time to focus on deep work.
Now, when employees are expected to do the same amount of work in a reduced number of hours, it directly leads to an increase in both work pressure and stress, affecting the emotional wellbeing of employees.
Discrimination between inoffice and remote employees
As we move past the pandemic, some employees are ready to go back to the office, while others want to continue working remotely from their homes. Employees want flexibility in choosing their own work environments and that is where the hybrid work model comes in.
While more and more organizations embrace hybrid teams, it is also important to remember that just giving employees the option to choose between working from the office or working remotely does not directly lead to better results or improved employee wellbeing. You need to ensure that your employees feel comfortable and appreciated, no matter where they are working from.
After all, it is easy for in-office employees to feel like remote employees get extra perks and for remote employees to feel like they are often left out of important discussions.
In fact, about 70 percent of remote employees feel left out by their team. Over 55 percent get excluded from meetings just because they aren’t physically present in the office and 55 percent end up missing out on important information.
Inequality among in-office and remote employees is one of the biggest challenges for organizations adopting the hybrid work model and it can also directly affect the emotional wellbeing of employees. As a result, team managers need to ensure that both in-office and remote employees have all the digital tools that they need to manage their work and stay connected with the rest of the team. At no point should remote employees feel like they are missing out on important information and in-office employees shouldn’t feel like their remote working colleagues are getting more preference.
True collaboration happens when all the employees are always in the loop with what’s happening within the team, whether they work from the office or from outside the office. This is where technology comes in - it's important to choose the tools or platforms that will make working in public easier, and instill confidence among employees working from anywhere.
Working in silos
Silos in organizations can halt innovation, kill productivity, destroy morale, and severely impact the emotional wellbeing of employees. In the long-term, siloes can be extremely destructive for the organization.
Usually, data silos are created when there are multiple disjointed applications used in the workplace. This can in turn make searching and finding the right data a complete nightmare for employees, impacting their mental wellbeing significantly. Imagine spending one hour of your day, just trying to find one small file that involves 10-minute worth of edits. But just because your company data has been distributed across a dozen tools, it ends up taking you more time to find that file than it takes for you to work on that file.
It is therefore important to adopt a unified platform that stores all the company data in one place, making it easily searchable and accessible.
Choosing and managing technology that fosters collaboration is definitely challenging, but it is a necessary one, especially as our working world becomes more and more reliant on hybrid and remote models. As companies start to return to their “new normal”, this is a perfect time to reset, reevaluate and recommit to making sure that employees have the right tools to get their work done and also enjoy optimum well-being at work.