Prioritising Employee Mental Health in the Digital Age

For all the benefits that the digital age brings us, it’s not without its stressors. Constant connectivity raises expectations among some that their teams or colleagues will be “always-on”, and remote working has blurred the line between work and life.

The result has been an upsurge in burnout globally, as a Future Forum survey showed – with 42% of the workforce reporting it, and a 2% rise from the previous quarter. As a result, there is a move in many companies towards prioritising employee wellbeing and mental health, as a way to develop workplace resilience.

 

So how do we do boost employee wellbeing in a tangible way

At the heart of employee wellness is the growing need for flexibility in where, when, and how employees work. The Future Forum survey found that employees who are dissatisfied with their level of flexibility at work are 43% more likely to say they feel burned out at work than those who are satisfied.

But that means using a variety of collaborative digital tools, which are increasingly serving as facilitators. And they come with a host of notifications and demands for our attention – which carry the risk of “digital stress”, and which experts say is stressing us out.

This can lead to a host of problems such as mental overload, overwhelm, lack of productivity and difficulty concentrating, and ultimately, burnout.

 

So how do we keep burnout at bay, given the demands of our work?

Paradoxically, the answer lies in those digital tools themselves – many of which have focus and productivity features built in. Knowing how to use them can help you to drown out the noise – here are some suggestions:

  • Using Microsoft Teams for your meetings? Switch to Focus mode – it’s designed to do what you might think is impossible: it keeps your attention locked into your meeting.
  • If you haven’t yet investigated Microsoft’s Viva Insights, it might be a good time to do so. There’s a great new feature in the wellbeing section called “Take action to improve your wellbeing. There you can start a daily focus plan, make time for messages, schedule virtual commute reminders, schedule emails for later, disconnect and give yourself quiet time, take a break – or maybe two or three, make time for learning, and schedule your lunch.
  • Use Microsoft MyAnalytics – a personal analytics app in Office 365 – that enables employees to gain insight into their work habits, and learn how to work smarter, not harder. It’s a productivity app, with the goal of increasing efficiency through data-driven insights. Users can understand their own work patterns, helps users to keep up with and complete more tasks, and provides email digests of work patterns weekly.
  • Loving the Outlook App? You now have the ability to schedule emails to be sent only during work hours, avoiding putting your team/s under pressure to work after hours.
  • You also have more control over your emails with the new ability to set emails to remain in ‘draft’ for a few minutes after sending. This gives you the opportunity to correct an error or attach that document you forgot to attach!
  • Another great feature is to disable notifications on your productivity apps on your phone i.e. Outlook & Teams, to only come through during work hours. This can usually be done through focus profiles on iOS and Android phones.

 

In a nutshell, there are ways to take control of your digital tools, and prevent them from controlling you, to improve your focus, and help you to be productive and efficient – and build better work-life balance. How?

Reach out to us at Mint. Mint’s Modern Work options support work-life balance and encourage prioritisation of mental health in the workplace. Because of our in-depth understanding of the Microsoft’s products, we can help you to choose the best Microsoft productivity and focus apps for your needs, and help you – and your teams – to build the resilience you need for the modern world of work.

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