17th Nov 2020

Reducing Workplace Stress With Technology: How Does it Work?

The essential role of workplace technology in keeping businesses operational is clearer than ever before. But this year has also highlighted the fact that technology can help with reducing workplace stress too.

2020 will be remembered for disrupting the traditional workplace as home working became the norm. While a vaccine will ensure Covid-19 and its restrictions become a thing of the past, some of the changes it’s created are here to stay.

The future workplace will consist of employees regularly working from home. Team members will come into the office to collaborate face-to-face with colleagues, and feel inspired and reinvigorated with a change of scenery. Projects will progress in the office with engaging client meetings.

Some might say the pandemic signals the end of the workplace. But we believe it’s instead made organisations truly understand their purpose, and ensure their workplaces meet the evolving needs of employees.

So, how can tech play a role in employee mental health and reducing workplace stress?

Monitor employee wellbeing to reduce the causes of workplace stress

If the year of the Coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that health should be prioritised, always. Emotional, mental, social and physical wellbeing are all vital to happy, functioning and productive human beings.

Workplaces, therefore, need to continuously monitor employee wellbeing, and technology can hugely enable this.

One employee engagement tool that can support this is WeThrive. WeThrive is software designed using human psychology. It makes gathering and acting on employee’s thoughts quick and simple.

Through using tools like WeThrive, leaders and HR teams can efficiently identify employee wellbeing concerns or stress. They can then put a plan in place to help alleviate this stress and, importantly, deal with the root cause so that it doesn’t get worse.

It also helps leaders to understand the impact of stress on engagement, motivation, and performance. This enables them to proactively help employees with stress management.

Organisations can also recommend personal apps to deal with the causes of stress. Apps like headspace, for everyday mindfulness, and WorryTree, an NHS recommended app that uses cognitive behaviour therapy to help people deal with worries.

Ensure employee tech enables organisation, routine, and collaboration

Workplace technology resources should focus on helping employees to make work routines, manage workload and improve productivity.

Tech resources including Wunderlist and Trello can help put together a to-do list that evaluates and prioritises workloads. Senior colleagues can use these lists to ensure workloads are manageable and deliverable.

By visualising specific tasks, employee stress can be eliminated because there are no anxious, worrisome feelings that chaotic organisation and processes can create. The tools allow employees to make an effective plan of action to complete tasks to deadlines.

Technology has also gifted the workplace with some amazing collaboration and productivity tools that allow for easy and transparent communication. Slack, Dropbox and Google Drive have transformed how teams work. They enable people to have better conversations, share work and improve project management, all of which increases coordination between colleagues and creates stress-free, productive, virtual or physical work environments.

Tech-driven workplace collaboration and productivity (without the stress)

It’s important to ensure the workplace is designed to encourage movement, is filled with plenty of light, and designed for the productivity of the people using it.

There also needs to be enough space for employees to learn, work, and feel inspired. Something which technology enables. With the ‘Covid-19 effect’ in mind, many workplaces are using virtual booking systems such as GoBright to make working at the office easier and more efficient.

We use it in our own office. Booked workspaces glow red, and free ones glow green. Especially handy when trying to reduce physical contact in places, and ensure communal spaces are cleaned between uses.

Another tool that we use is Evoko, a tech offering that efficiently manages and books office meeting rooms. We have Evoko devices outside each of our meeting spaces and its software integrates with all our Outlook calendars for increased visibility. Again, booked rooms glow red and free rooms glow green.

These tools all enable cohesive working in an office environment and reduce inconvenience and annoyance – big triggers for stress.

It can help us meet our basic human needs

Tech reduces stress by making our lives easier and meeting our basic human needs.

The Human Givens Institute suggests that every human must have our basic needs met in order to function. By meeting these needs, we can remain physically and mentally healthy. In following the Human Givens approach, leaders need to create workplaces that meet people’s needs through structure and organisation.

Technology plays a part in meeting several of the needs that the Human Givens approach outlines, including:

  • Giving and receiving attention
  • Feeling part of a wider community
  • Achieving a sense of competence and achievement

Employees are working in the office, at home, or elsewhere, so technology must help to meet people’s needs wherever they are. As well as encouraging seamless collaboration and innovation, regardless of location.

As well as the Human Givens approach, we’re passionate about The WELL Building Standard™ and the role that both of these concepts play in creating productive working environments where the causes of stress are reduced drastically.

The role of The WELL Building Standard™

The WELL Building Standard™ provides 11 concepts and related strategies that create intentional and thoughtful workspaces that enhance human health and wellbeing.

Several of the WELL Building Standard™ concepts focus on positive mental health and reducing physical and emotional stress.

For example, the ‘Mind’ concept highlights the importance of restorative spaces where people can reflect, restore and repair their health. This concept also explains the importance of nature such as water, light, plants and views, which are all proven to have a positive impact on wellbeing. It also advocates stress and mental health support, where early intervention helps to protect long-term health.

Experience the wonders of workplace tech

Our office, WorkLife Central, is the place to visit to see the benefits of workplace tech in action.

If you’d like to discuss the role of technology in managing the wellbeing of your employees, please do get in touch on hello@blueprintinteriors.com or call us on 01530 223111.

Author:

Rob Day

Chairman & Founder