Workplace wellness is something that is top of mind for many of us these days. So many of us have had to learn to work from new locations and find new ways to connect with our colleagues. Many of us have also found ourselves juggling multiple new roles – as teachers for our children, caretakers for our family members – and dealing with new stressors we had never previously imagined.
These have been stressful times, for sure, but technology has proven to be a huge tool to help us manage our well-being and mental health while continuing to stay productive. The role of mental health in business and industry is significant. This, of course, was true even before COVID-19 took the world by storm.
In fact, I first covered this topic back in January in an article I wrote for Forbes Tech Council. It’s strange to think how little we knew about the dramatic ways our professional well-being would be tested this year – and how much more we would depend on technology to help us get through it.
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Technology, including wellness technology, is pervasive today
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), as the coronavirus began to spread across the country in March and April 2020, nearly 9 in 10 U.S. consumers reported higher media content consumption. Their average time online also spiked—increasing 14% compared to the previous year. The highest use of their time online was tied between online videos and broadcast TV—both at 39%. In fact, video streaming on internet-connected devices has increased ~100% year-to-year. “From news searches to music, movies, shows, and games, consumers across generations are substantially increasing online activity,” according to the report.
Time spent online is being driven to a large degree by the sense of isolation that many are feeling and a yearning to make connections. That isolation is also leading to growing mental health concerns, including feelings of burnout as millions of Americans have had to adjust to working from home.
The role of mental health in business and industry
We know that happiness in the workplace is directly related to a company’s ability to grow and remain profitable. Employers are obviously concerned about ensuring employee well-being, even—in fact, especially—as they find themselves increasingly isolated.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), mental health is a growing concern for many during the COVID-19 pandemic. That shouldn’t come as a surprise for any of us. We’ve all been living in this “new normal” for some time now and know from firsthand experience the many stressors that have impacted our lives.
What may be more surprising, though, is that technology can help with both personal and workplace wellness in a myriad of ways. In fact, wellness technology can help us not only feel connected but also provide us with tools and aids to remain mindful, to relax and to destress.
How technology can boost wellbeing and productivity
Technology has long been an aid to help boost well-being and productivity. In 2020, though, the importance of technology has come to the forefront in many ways. Businesses are finding technology can impact:
- Time management and productivity. From apps to chatbots, to interactions now made possible through AI and other forms of automation, technology has had a significant impact on time management and productivity for individuals and teams.
- Flexibility and connectivity. During the virus, we have all been fortunate to be able to call upon technology to offer flexibility and connectivity for reaching out to staff members, vendors, customers, and others. It’s hard to imagine how we would have been able to keep so many businesses afloat and productivity during these challenging times without the support of technology to drive meaningful connections.
- Creativity. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling the need for a good creative boost, I frequently turn to sources of inspiration like Feedly, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and others. Wibbitz, of course, offers exceptional functionality to allow creative juices to flow; easy access makes it easy for teams to continue to collaborate creativity no matter where they’re located.
- Mindfulness and self-care. Technology can also be an aid in helping us manage our personal wellbeing, especially now that so many of us are working remotely. Coming together for virtual happy hours, trivia nights, and other events helps us maintain important connections virtually when we can’t be together personally. I’m certainly thankful for that.
Laying the foundation for professional wellbeing
Yes, the virus has been and will continue to be a challenge for many of us. But our new normal has also led to new ideas, new opportunities, and new insights. Through it all, we have come to rely on technology and to recognize the many ways it can empower and enlarge our worlds more than ever before.
Wibbitz is one of those technology aids that so many have turned to during the pandemic. Our product empowers teams to be more creative and makes their day-to-day lives better by streamlining content workflows, cutting down friction between teams and freelancers, saving time, and empowering team members to create video.
Regardless of the technologies that you decide to invest in, developing a work environment that empowers professional well-being is an ongoing process. The environment should be regularly attended to and improved upon by taking into consideration the individual needs of each person in the company. From there, invest in building an infrastructure around the technologies that encourage efficiency, productivity, connectivity, creativity and mindfulness on a regular basis.
Workplace wellness is no longer an option but a must-have for businesses. The companies that put their people first and give them the tools they need to succeed will be the ones that will succeed in the long run.