Employee wellness is a relatively new term that companies are fast adopting. This is because work is placing ever greater challenges on our mental and physical health. Yet new solutions are emerging to tackle them head-on. Let’s take a look at how wellness at work is set to go through revolutionary transformations.
The Age of Economic Revolutions
Fast approaching 2020, we are now truly living in the digital age. Already, major economies worldwide have seen a dramatic transition from human-based manufacturing to robotics-based production. Consequently, much human labor has moved into the service sectors, but these jobs too have been increasingly swallowed-up by machine or software-based solutions (think about how you interact with your bank!). With the evolution of AI and machine learning technologies, thought leaders predict that even high-flying roles like CEOs and executive management will also soon be under threat.
An Information Driven World
For the majority of people, the digital age has meant that most work is primarily driven through computers and electronic communications, in our increasingly globalized world. This has come hand-in-hand with rising demands to manage more and more information – a commodity which has been growing exponentially over recent decades, and shows no signs of stopping.
All this extra information is creating new levels of cognitive loads in our lives at work. As a result, there is increasing pressure in the workplace, leading to more frequent cases of employee anxiety, burnout, and depression. In fact, 75% of employees are now reporting work as a source of stress. This is directly impacting health and motivation, increasing the likelihood of a person being absent, taking leave, or quitting their job.
Wellbeing – a New Form of Corporate Care
Fortunately, these challenges are being recognized by forward thinking companies. And it turns out that some of the most effective solutions are actually centered around digital wellbeing applications. Phrases like ‘total wellbeing’ and ‘holistic wellness’ are becoming buzz words, with the focus on monitoring health and mental state, then providing appropriate wellness interventions.
The Power of Connectivity
With the power of phone apps and internet connectivity, the lifestyle areas which leading companies have integrated into both the work and home lives of their employees include,
- Weight management
- Mental well-being
- Activity-based challenges
- Financial well-being
- Healthy habits
- Fitness tracking
With today’s computational arsenal of modern smartphones and smartwatches, everything from heart rate variability to brainwave activity can be monitored like a sports science experiment. Easy to use, and surprisingly affordable, these holistic tech-based solutions are somewhat ironically becoming our first line of defense against the work-related stresses of the digital age.
The Cognitive Dimension of Wellness
Of course, the team at NeuroTracker also believes this type of neurotechnology has a potentially powerful role to play. For one thing, NeuroTracking can robustly increase an employee’s attentional bandwidth, boosting abilities needed for managing multiple streams of information. As the old adage goes, prevent is better than cure! Additionally, research shows that NeuroTracker can serve as a way to detect the effects of stress, burnout, or general challenges to mental health, as well as potentially alleviate the associated symptoms. One reason why US Law Enforcement has started integrating cognitive training into the workplace.
But no matter what the solutions are, we can expect our working world to grow into a digital arms race, with technology juxtaposed – for and against – our continued wellbeing interests.
If you’re interested in reading more on wellbeing, then check out our recent healthy aging blog.
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