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April 16, 2024 | Blog

Helping Your Employees Balance The Digital World And Workplace

By Chad Charkowski

A lady giving presentation in a meeting

What would we do without all of the advancements and efficiencies the digital world has brought our way? We would still be sending faxes, which I don’t think anyone misses or for those under 40, may not know what that is. However there is the other side of the coin when it comes to the 24/7 world of connectivity and availability of information, there are some downsides that need to be discussed.

A recent study from the University of Nottingham brings up some concerns and unintended consequences that the digital world brings, especially in the modern workplace. This research, led by Elizabeth Marsh from the School of Psychology, involved analyzing survey responses from 142 employees to explore the impacts of the digital work environment on individuals’ well-being. The findings revealed that a blend of digital proficiency and mindfulness could be the key to fostering a healthy digital working life.

Work-Life Before The Digital Age

There was a time when it was much easier to leave the office behind, because you could leave the office behind. Home computers were for games, and the internet was something yet to be rolled out to the masses. When you left the office, there was no email to check when you got home. 

Telecommuting was the first version of “working from home” and was the exception rather than the rule. Less than 1% of the population worked from their home in 1985, in comparison to 40% working from home in some capacity today. The world has changed, and work-life balance is much harder to attain than even 10 years ago.

Digital Mindfulness Is Not Created Equal For Everyone 

In today’s digital workplace, characterized by constant emails, instant messaging, and mobile technologies, employees often face increased stress levels. This stress, stemming from the need to adapt continually to evolving digital tools, can lead to burnout and various health issues. Did anyone else just check their Apple Watch?

Employees who possess a higher degree of digital confidence experience lower levels of anxiety related to the digital workplace. Furthermore, individuals who practice mindfulness demonstrate greater resilience against the detrimental aspects of digital work, such as stress, overload, anxiety, fear of missing out (FOMO), and addiction.

Mindfulness, defined as the practice of being fully present and engaged in the moment without judgment, emerges as a potent antidote to the challenges of the digital work environment. Participants reporting higher levels of mindfulness were found to be less susceptible to the negative impacts of digital work. This finding underscores the importance of cultivating mindful awareness to enhance overall well-being in the digital age.

Addressing the necessity for organizations to manage digital workplace hazards, Dr. Alexa Spence, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Professor Elvira Perez Vallejos, Professor of Digital Technology for Mental Health, highlight the need to mitigate digital risks to ensure employees’ health and well-being, akin to managing physical and psychosocial risks within the workplace.

How To Support Mental Health In The Digital Age 

Covenant Workplace Solutions, a leader in mental health and Employee Assistance Program services, recognizes the essential role of mindfulness and digital literacy in navigating the complexities of the modern workplace. Inspired by the findings from the University of Nottingham, Covenant is dedicated to integrating strategies that promote mindfulness and awareness throughout modern day workplaces. 

Some of the many ways Covenant is raising the bar of awareness with their Lifestyle EAP: 

Mindfulness Training: We implement programs aimed at cultivating mindfulness, assisting employees in becoming more present and less affected by digital distractions. This training is designed to foster a mindful awareness that enhances personal well-being and professional efficiency.

Creating a Supportive Digital Culture: We encourage a work culture that values breaks, disconnection times, and respectful digital communication practices. This approach is aimed at preventing burnout and promoting well-being, ensuring that employees feel supported in managing their digital workload.

Covenant Workplace Solutions is committed to prioritizing the mental health and digital well-being of your employees. By addressing the immediate challenges posed by the digital workplace and paving the way for a healthier, more resilient workforce, we underscore the importance of mindfulness and digital proficiency. 

The Lifestyle EAP That Raises The Bar, Not Simply Checks The Box 

When it comes to employee mental health, there are many options in addressing the crisis that workplaces face. Many times companies simply have a watered down EAP that is “thrown in” with their other benefits. It is time to give the Employee Assistance Program it’s stand alone spot at the benefit table, because we know you care, and a comprehensive Lifestyle EAP shows how much you care. 

From digital awareness, helping your teen navigate the digital world that never leaves them, to getting in physical shape, your EAP should be something that helps your workforce get healthy, and maintain that health beyond the walls of your workplace. Connect with Covenant Workplace Solutions today to raise the bar with your EAP.