29 May 2020

Tech Perspective #10: Digital Wellbeing of Your Employees

  • FOMO – a sign of our times
  • Google Wellbeing – how to use smartphones more consciously
  • How wellbeing apps can improve employee experience

Have you ever nervously searched through your pockets, terrified that you may have left your phone at home? Or maybe your heart started racing having just seen a swathe of unopened notifications? If your answer is yes, then you’re likely to be suffering from FOMO.

FOMO became a sign of our times. It influences social, as well as professional lives of the majority of people, maintaining unease and anxiety. It’s the force compelling individuals to check their phones every few minutes or refresh their work email – even after working hours.

Many companies noticed that digital anxiety negatively influences their employees’ performance and wellbeing: it distracts them, lowers their productivity, and makes them miserable.

In response to the growing dissatisfaction and decreasing productivity caused by digital anxiety amongst others, Google has invested more in employee support. As a result, employee satisfaction rose by 37%.

To spread awareness of the importance of digital wellbeing, they came up with a new solution called Google Wellbeing.

Introducing Google Wellbeing

Since 2018,Google has been addressing numerous problems caused by the excessive use of smartphones. Appreciating their numerous advantages, it also emphasised how harmful they can be to wellbeing and how they can make us measurably less happy.

According to Google, 70% of its users want help in balancing their digital lives. In response to popular demand, it came up with a whole range of new tools. This toolkit is called Google Wellbeing.

The goal of Google Wellbeing is to teach people how to use their smartphones more consciously and to make them aware of their harmful digital habits. Moreover, thanks to Google Wellbeing it is far easier to control the constant flood of notifications, buzzers, and other distractions.

As Google stated, they are “committed to giving everyone the tools they need to develop their own sense of digital wellbeing. So that life, not the technology in it, stays front and center.”

According to Android Central, Google Wellbeing is “not just one app or one feature. It’s an entire idea. It’s a lifestyle change.”

Benefits of Wellbeing Apps

1. Pause distracting apps and focus on work

Many people complain that they’re addicted to certain apps and habitually revisit them every few minutes, despite knowing there’ll be nothing new or important. This addiction may negatively influence one’s productivity.

It’s possible to pause selected apps with a single tap. It minimises distractions and allows focusing on responsibilities. It also enables setting a schedule for automatic reactivating, for example when work commences.

2. Set a daily limit with app and site timers

Some apps are very time-consuming and engrossing.

Thanks to wellbeing apps, it’s possible to limit the time spent using certain apps or websites and set daily timers. When the timer runs out, the app or website is paused for the rest of the day.

3. Customize and snooze notifications

Being bombarded with never-ending notifications and signals can be extremely distracting.

Wellbeing apps offer the possibility to change notification settings for the device or just for specific apps. It’s up to the users what alerts remain on, what they look like, and how often they’re displayed. There is also an option to snooze notifications, so hide them temporarily, for example only during working hours.

4. Switch off work

The importance of work-life balance is invaluable. 

As Henley Business School’s research proves, 61% of managers felt the technology made it difficult to switch off from work. It proves that digital technology has blurred the home/work boundaries.

Wellbeing apps enable its users to turn off their work profiles to pause work apps and their notifications. It also allows them to leave work at work and relax.

Digital wellbeing begins with you

As Google puts it:

“We believe technology should improve life, not distract from it.”

Thanks to digital wellbeing solutions, it’s easier to maintain a healthy balance and keep one’s digital habits in check.

Digital wellbeing apps not only help in managing personal activity but also significantly improve the working experience. They help to keep all the distractions away and to maintain a work-life balance. Simply speaking, wellbeing solutions make employees happier, and a happy employee is a better one.

Read more stories on tech and business on our blog

Marcin Bartoszuk
Chief Operating Officer

With Microsoft technologies related since 2005. He graduated from the Computer Science Faculty of the Bialystok University of Technology where he was the leader of the .NET Group and the Microsoft Student Partner. Four times finalist of the national stage of the Imagine Cup competition, and later the mentor and the jury member of the contest. Co-founder of the Bialystok .NET Group. He lectured .NET development at the Bialystok University of Technology. Microsoft MVP in the Client Application Development category in 2008-2010, when he actively participated in the IT community. Constant new technology enthusiast and IT consultant.