TMCnet Feature
June 30, 2020

4 workplace technologies that support employee health and wellbeing

Employees are tired from working too hard and too long. And that hurts their productivity. But technology may be the solution to keeping employees healthy, happy, and productive. 

The National Safety Council also warns that over 69% of workers from the US labor force experiences workplace fatigue. This means that nearly 107 million out of 160 million workers are affected by feelings of tiredness, insomnia, reduced energy, and increased effort to perform regular tasks. 

Moreover, the National Safety Council reports that fatigue costs US employers nearly $130 billion every year in health-related lost productivity. It’s no secret that tired or ill employees result in paid sick leave, decreased productivity efficiency, and ultimately lost money for businesses. 

Unfortunately, workplace fatigue also often results in workplace accidents. And, if you consider that many of these tired workers come from already safety-critical industries, such as construction or manufacturing, you realize how serious this problem is. 

But make no mistake, office employees are no less prone to experience workplace fatigue. In fact, office jobs come with rather particular health conditions that affect employees in the long term, including back problems, vision problems, lung problems, and cardiovascular problems. 

So, employers need to take their employees’ health more seriously if they want to stop losing money. And, the good news is that technology can help with work fatigue, keeping employees healthy and employers happy. 

Here are four workplace technologies that can help support employee health and wellbeing. 

1.Eye protection software

Eye strain is perhaps the most common health issue that computer office workers deal with. Reading text on a computer screen or other digital device daily, for 8 hours straight (or more), can be more dangerous for the eyes than reading printed text. 

Also, combined with other factors such as poor lighting, poor posture in front of the computer, and viewing the screen at the wrong distance and angle, as well as staring at a computer for hours every day can lead to serious vision problems

Now, that’s when technology comes to the scene to protect office workers’ eyes from digital eye strain. Eye protection software tools are designed to protect the eyes of office workers. They have several features, such as the capability to match the screen brightness to the light around the employees, screen blocking to force employees to take breaks from looking into the screen, reminders for eye exercises, and multi-monitor systems support. 

2.Office ergonomics

Another prevalent health condition that office workers deal with is back problems due to sitting all day long. Sitting chained to the desk for hours, having a poor sitting posture, not taking stand-up breaks are all office habits that lead to severe back problems. 

Now, technology can help employees maintain their back health even when they must sit for hours. How so? With the help of workplace ergonomics, which, according to data, can also increase productivity by 11% on average. And, although you wouldn’t think of ergonomics as actual technologies, we assure you that there’s a lot of technology behind them.

 A lot of data and analytics have been used to analyze different sitting postures and behaviors to help create ergonomic products that are adjustable for various needs and help office workers avoid fatigue. This LeanRite Review can help you understand more about how technology and ergonomic principles joined forces to provide employees with comfortable working environments. 

3.Collaboration software

Flexible work is the future of work. The good news is that modern technological advancement can also help employers facilitate flexible work, such as remote work, for their employees when they need it. 

Millennial employees, in particular, seek flexibility in their jobs. In fact, wanting job flexibility is one of the main reasons many young adults opt for remote or freelancing jobs. And, one of the benefits of remote work is increased productivity. In fact, studies show that remote employees are nearly 25% more productive than their office counterparts as there are fewer social distractions and more opportunities to take breaks when needed. 

Moreover, remote work can also help with employees’ health and wellness as it facilitates a strong work-life balance. Employees can customize their surroundings as preferred, get comfortable with their preferred outfit, have their tech setup, and have more opportunities to take care of their physical and emotional needs. 

But how can employees work from home and still be an essential asset to their teams? In fact, data shows that employees who collaborated with their solitary peers reported higher engagement levels with their tasks, lower fatigue levels, and a higher success rate. So, collaboration is beneficial to both employers and employees. How to collaborate when working from home? Using technology, collaboration software tools to be more precise.

Remote collaboration software tools allow real-time communication, enable supervisors to organize and assign tasks, create calendars for deadlines and projects, and real-time work. 

4.Big data and analytics

We live and work in a data-driven world. Thus, it’s no surprise that technologies such as Big Data and analytics can also be used in the office to support employee health and wellbeing. 

Big data and predictive analytics have been used in healthcare for a long time now, in predicting chronic health problems in particular. Those who suffer from chronic diseases are expected to pay more for healthcare. But, using these two technologies to detect health problems in incipient phases can make those costs go down. 

Now, taking the same principle to the office, gathering data on employees’ health when they are part of corporate wellness schemes can help employers predict more accurate risk assessments and outcomes. 

Predictive wellness management systems use traditional data sources to help companies improve their workplace wellness program designs by understanding individual preferences and optimizing organizational health status. 

Also, companies can use predictive fatigue management systems that function based on data and predictive analytics, which can assess and calculate impending fatigue in an upcoming shift. How does predictive fatigue management systems work? They use data of an employee’s work history, including data about their commute time, job risk profile, and real-time alertness, to give an accurate assessment of what kind of fatigue an employee will most likely experience during a shift and when it is going to happen. 

In other words, supervisors can now know in advance who of their workers is most likely to experience workplace fatigue so that they can plan for it and reduce the possibility of accidents.  

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