Technology affects the wellbeing of employees in different ways -- here's what you need to know

A survey of more than 1,000 organisations in the UK by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and health insurer Simplyheath has looked at the impact of technology on the wellbeing of employees.

The survey found that advances in technology are generally seen to have more of a positive than negative impact on employee wellbeing, largely through facilitating flexible working and enabling more effective communication. Most organisations, however, report that advances in technology have also had adverse effects on employee wellbeing in their organisation. An inability to switch off out of hours and the stress caused by technology failure are the most commonly cited concerns.

Overall, just 11% believe that technological advances have had no positive effects on employee wellbeing, while, perhaps surprisingly, even fewer (4%) report there have been no negative effects.

The facilitation of flexible working is seen to be by far the most common benefit of technological advances on wellbeing, with three-quarters of respondents citing this positive impact. They cited benefits including the reduction of commute times, costs for staff working from home, and the ability of employees to have more control over their work and working pattern.

Looking at some of the negative impacts of technology, the most common negative effect reported by an overwhelming majority of respondents (87%) relates to employees’ inability to switch off during out-of-work hours. A high proportion of respondents (70%) also referred to the stress that results when technology fails.

One final area where technology could perhaps assist employees with their wellbeing is the use of wearable technology such as fitness trackers. Only 9% of those surveyed offer employees the use of this technology to encourage wellbeing. A small minority of organisations are however using this technology to create wellbeing challenges and encourage increased activity.

To learn more about developments in technology see our BI Research The Connected World Report

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