The way we work has transformed dramatically in the last few years. The positives related to these changes can almost wholly be attributed to technology. In the past, workplace well-being was relegated to specific wellness programs run by employers. Today, with the use of the right technology tools, wellbeing can be integrated into almost any aspect of our work lives.
Sabashni Naidoo, Managing Director at Amani Spa, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, says that “Today, companies are able to better invest in the well-being of their teams, which, in turn, fosters a strong culture as employees and clients realise that their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is valued by those who they work with and work for.”
How can employers evaluate which types of technology will most effectively aid wellness in the workplace?
Tech for the five dimensions of wellbeing
A happy, healthy, and engaged employee will help a company achieve its goals. Businesses nowadays have to understand the need to directly take ownership of employee wellness, which they may do through technology.
Paystack, a technology company that solves payment difficulties for businesses, has provided training, tools, and programming geared toward each of the five dimensions of wellbeing; physical, emotional, social, environmental, and financial.
“At Paystack, we are working with leaders and managers to help them understand how to incorporate wellbeing into their work priorities and team support. We are personally assisting employees in owning and improving their own well-being,” says Kristin Clarke, Head of People at Paystack.
“One way we’re doing this is through a relationship with Forma, an online benefits platform, that provides employees with a wellbeing stipend sponsored by Paystack, which they may spend on tools, assistance, or activities that improve their wellbeing. We can provide targeted support for employee welfare at scale with this technology,” Clarke adds.
Beating traditional work models
Traditional work models may no longer be efficient given the rise of asynchronous work and the success of four-day work weeks in experiments. Consequently, businesses must adopt a performance-based approach to monitoring productivity that aligns with their goals. Employers can make data-driven decisions that result in positive and productive changes for the organisation.
Knowing that, what should organisations do if they want to measure productivity effectively?
According to Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa at multinational technology firm, Zoho “Good task management software will easily allow businesses to manage and track the life cycle of all projects in the pipeline. Employers cannot just monitor employee performance against set tasks; they also need to make it easier for employees to be productive by converting emails into tasks, for instance.”
Further, these tech tools allow organisations to filter out employees who are overburdened, distribute work evenly, and also keep track of important key performance indicators (KPIs). Using software that takes this approach means that you can measure performance against work done, rather than time spent online,” adds Bourne.
Reading and writing technology
Besides being great tools for improving the way we work, reading and writing can help employees work through their thoughts and emotions and regulate their feelings. There are a plethora of tools that employees can use to practise their reading and writing online. Fundza.mobi, for example, is great for reading different forms of writing for many purposes, including learning.
It is one of many places where one can write and publish their thoughts about specific subjects, such as mental wellness, or just write for enjoyment, which is thought to be one of the best ways to relieve mental pressures. This illustrates how technology, particularly mobile technology, which is available to millions of South Africans every day, can help improve mental wellness even in the workplace.
Readers can consume content on the platform that is related to the workplace. One good example of this is the short book written by Katherine Eve about how to resolve conflict with a colleague in the workplace.The book provides pragmatic, step-by-step instructions for resolving workplace conflicts in a way that leaves both parties and the organisation satisfied.
A holistic approach should be taken to what constitutes wellbeing to accommodate the different needs of different people. Employers must remember that rest, self-care, and the right technology can lead to increased productivity by employees, lower employee turnover, and healthier work environments.