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How to boost your employees’ digital wellbeing

As technology intertwines with our daily lives, it can distract us and affect our mental and physical wellbeing, which might lead to loss of productivity because of constant distraction. On an everyday basis, multiple devices and applications are fighting for our attention, and the feeling of being always “on” can be deteriorating to our wellbeing and cause anxiety and mental tiredness. While we can’t stop using our phones or computers, a question arises: How can you improve your employee’s digital wellbeing both in and out of the office?

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What is digital wellbeing?

Digital wellbeing is a term used by health professionals, researchers and device manufacturers to describe the concept of the use of digital devices which supports mental and/or physical health of the users. It also means acknowledging the potential harm that overuse of technological devices can cause; whether it’s shortening our attention spans, negatively influencing relationships or harming our productivity.

Therefore, digital wellbeing can refer to two different aspects of wellbeing:

  • The ability to disconnect from screens and devices to truly relax, and
  • The use of digital technologies to enhance other wellbeing efforts.

Both aspects of digital wellbeing can be arranged and enforced by employers at work. Let’s take a look at specific strategies that aim to boost employees’ digital wellbeing. 

How to improve employee’s digital wellbeing

Constant notifications, hours of mindless scrolling on social media, urge to read and reply to 100 emails in your inbox, even during weekends, all lead to mental fatigue. We live in times where it is hard to “log out”, or “switch off” from technology. This has an impact on both how we work and how we spend our free time. Thankfully, there are things employers can do to help their employees to work better, and rest better. 

Digital wellbeing at work 

Well-rested employees are productive employees. A company work culture that supports work-life balance and has policies that promote a range of digital wellbeing behaviours, such as encouraging employees to use all of their vacation days, can expect overall better results in productivity, lower employee turnover, and employer branding. 

Other initiatives that employers can implement on an organizational level to support their employee’s digital wellbeing, and therefore productivity, include: 

Discourage employees to work after work hours 

This change should start from the top; the managers should not send email and tasks after work hours. If employees know they don’t need to be working or checking their email 24/7, it will already be a big step forward improving your company’s digital wellbeing. 

Allow employees to self-manage 

It’s up to both employers and employees to manage how to best spend the time at work. Allowing employees to set their own schedules and respecting the times when they want to focus on a task can be a helpful move in addressing their digital wellbeing. 

Focus on the end result 

Another way to encourage digital wellbeing at work is to allow for some flexibility and evaluate work by the end result – not by the hours spent on the task. Sometimes employees fall into the ‘busy being busy’ trap, however, only because the company culture allows for it. Constant reaction to notifications and emails gives employees a sense of feeling busy, while not much actual job is being done. 

Employees' digital wellbeing means enjoying uninterrupted holidays, among others.
Employees’ digital wellbeing means enjoying uninterrupted holidays, among others.

Use technology to improve employees’ overall wellbeing

Technology itself is neutral, and it can be also used to help implement wellbeing initiatives at work. Many group health insurance programs have solutions to support overall wellbeing and health promotion initiatives among employees. As an employer, you can consider implementing the following initiatives: 

  • Offer reimbursement to your employees for the purchase and usage of mindfulness tools or apps. 
  • Provide fitness apps, wearable devices, or other fitness trackers to employees as a wellness benefit.
  • Incorporate fitness apps or other tracking apps into employee benefits program in collaboration with the insurer. These can potentially even lower group health insurance premiums, as healthy employees tend to make fewer claims. 
  • Partner with an insurer or health centre that offers telehealth services, which can be especially useful and time-saving for minor issues and follow-up visits. 

These can be good additions to your current corporate wellness program. The digital tools that employees can install on their phones to track and manage their physical and mental health can especially be welcomed by those who are more digital-savvy or simply too shy to seek mental health advice or fitness advice in person.  

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Digital wellbeing after work 

While trying your best to ensure your employees have the best environment for practising digital wellbeing at work, it’s worth to mention a few tips on how to ensure digital wellbeing can be practised outside of the workplace. 

Enable night mode at night

Night mode shifts your phone’s or other device’s screen to a slightly warmer hue and reduces the amount of blue light from our phones, subtly altering the impact it has on the brain.

Go grey

Having your phone’s screen only in grayscale makes it less attractive to look at, especially if you find yourself having troubles with spending hours on visual social media platforms. 

People over device

Give your full attention to the people you spend time with and maximize the quality of your in-person connections.

Track app usage time 

Setting limits for certain apps and sites can help you to control time spending on scrolling mindlessly on different apps.

Manage your apps and notifications to reduce distractions

Pausing apps and notifications can help keep your attention on your tasks. Without constant messages and notifications popping up, you’ll only reach certain apps when you actually need or want to use them. 

Go on a digital detox

Try to schedule your digital detox every now in a while to let your eyes and mind rest from all the information and entertainment clutter. Plan activities that don’t rely on using technology, such as going outdoor, painting, meditation; whatever makes you happy and absorbed for the day! 

Design digital wellbeing strategy with Pacific Prime 

Group health insurance specialists from Pacific Prime Dubai can advise you about best practices and trends regarding wellness and digital wellbeing initiatives, while still complying the DHA and the UAE Labor Law. On top of that, there is an array of other advantages of using benefits consultants, such as deep industry knowledge, risk assessment, claims analysis, and insurance premium negotiation. Contact us today for free and impartial advice, and get started building an effective employee benefits plan today!  

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!