How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress
Author: Kristina Proffitt
15th August 2017
We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week at work.
Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.
It’s therefore important that our working lives leave us happy and fulfilled.
Sadly, studies show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lifetime.
Spending so much of our waking time at work, it’s inevitable that work will affect our mental health.
Too much pressure or long-term stress can cause employees to burn out, leaving them with less energy to function in and out of work.
Too little work – or a lack of stimulation – can also lead to stress. Employees feel under-fulfilled, like they’re wasting their time, and want to be anywhere but at work.
The more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer.
Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout.
Here are four ways technology can make employees feel more fulfilled, and help to prevent workplace stress.
Organize and coordinate schedules
Trying to find a time when a team can meet to discuss something important can often take as long – sometimes even longer – than the meeting itself.
If it’s an important or last-minute meeting, trying to get everyone together can cause employees huge amounts of stress.
There’s always a risk of someone being double-booked because they didn’t check their calendar before agreeing to a suggested time.
This then causes more stress because the meeting needs to be rescheduled.
Calendar connectivity means that this process can be automated, preventing double-bookings and avoiding any stress the process could cause.
Instead of long email chains or back-and-forth phone calls, the person organizing the meeting can tell the software whom they need in the meeting. It can then suggest a list of times when everyone is free to meet. If calendars are set up for bookable resources such as meeting rooms or parking spaces, it can incorporate this into its calculations too.
Connecting an employees’ calendar to HR software also means that they don’t need to switch between applications to keep track of their schedules.
Speed up and streamline complicated processes
On the surface, organizing interviews seems like an easy process, but with so many candidates and interview panellists to coordinate, it quickly becomes laborious.
Hiring managers can spend as many as 20 hours a month organizing interviews.
Automating this process gives hiring managers more time to spend on other tasks, saves interview panellists from having to constantly flit between their calendar and emails, and allows candidates to book their interviews discreetly.
Another process that can be automated is the organization of staff appraisals. In large organizations, this process can be particularly time-consuming.
However, when employees are calendar connected, software can work out the best times for an employee to meet their manager and automatically add the appointments to their calendar. No matter what size their team is, the process is instant.
Offering training programs for employees to expand their skills further breaks up the tedium of the daily routine.
Training programs don’t just have to take place at work, either.
There are thousands of online courses out there, and many of them are free.
Many industries also have their own courses or week-long events that employees can attend to network and get a change of scenery.
Giving employees new ways to learn and grow helps to spark new ideas that they can bring back to the workplace.
Learning new skills is also an effective way to prevent stagnation and keep employees interested in their work.
Monitor employee wellbeing
Looking after employees is a key part of HR.
New technology means HR teams can track how employees feel and gain an insight into how different teams work.
They can also encourage employees to get up and get moving by offering incentives such as fitness trackers.
Communication tools such as Slack give employees the opportunity to keep in touch whether they work in the same building or different parts of the country.
Tools like this can be key for managers and HR staff to keep informed of how employees are getting along, particularly if they work remotely full- or part-time.
Let employees take control of their schedules
The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts.
When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten.
Giving employees somewhere they can make a note of everything they have to do means that they spend less time trying to remember everything and more time getting things done.
The technology you provide for your employees matters
Richard Branson once said that if you “look after your staff. They’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
When employees feel overwhelmed or overworked, they’re less productive and less able to help a business to grow.
Employees are what make a business a success.
Choosing the right people is crucial, but that’s only part of it.
If you don’t look after them, they won’t be as good to your business as they could be.
By nurturing employees, making them feel appreciated, and giving them opportunities to learn and grow, it not only benefits them, but the business, too.
The more knowledge employees acquire in their industry, the more they can use this to create a better customer experience and increase company revenue.
This then means the company can grow and increase its profits faster.
Date: 15th August 2017 | Category: HR Tech