Digital Wellness in the Workplace: What’s the ROI of a Healthy Team?

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Elliot Chan, Digital Marketing Manager6 min read

According to a 2023 Deloitte report , one-quarter of workers say their mental and physical health has deteriorated over the past year. An additional 40% say they saw no improvement.

Surprisingly, Deloitte’s research indicates a significant gap between employees and their leaders. About 80% of C-suite executives believe their employees' well-being has shown improvement across all surveyed metrics.

Statistics show that a significant portion of employees grapple with various emotional and physical challenges in the workplace. For instance:

  • 52% frequently feel exhausted
  • 49% experience frequent stress
  • 43% feel overwhelmed
  • 34% express feelings of irritability
  • 33% report experiencing loneliness
  • 32% feel depressed
  • 27% occasionally feel angry

On top of that, leaders who understand the difficulties related to employee well-being at work mention that issues like having too much work and not knowing how to help team members with their health and wellness often get in the way of their efforts to support staff.

Why your team needs a digital wellness strategy

Workplace collaboration has changed a lot since the ‘80s, and our days are now deeply embedded in digital tools and processes. Teams today must be constantly available on messaging apps, email, and other work tools.

For this reason, nurturing digital wellness goes beyond the mere use of apps. It involves fostering a healthy understanding of workflows and collaboration between leaders, teams, and individuals. It means ensuring a balance between work and personal life, managing screen time, and promoting mental and physical health. To do all that, you need a data-driven digital wellness strategy.

Produce8 enables teams to build this awareness, identify solutions, and then measure whether their changes are producing positive results. We do this by understanding how people use their technology and time. It is our goal to help everyone recover 90+ minutes of work a day. Those 90+ minutes can then be used to cultivate a healthier digital experience.

We empower organizations and their people to close the gap between them. In doing so, teams can attack the problems of work and improve digital wellness throughout the workplace.

In this article, we discuss how implementing a digital wellness strategy can benefit your team's wellness, the work they do, and the organization’s bottom line.

The cost of not having a digital wellness strategy

People rest at the core of every business. Human beings like you and me. And when the people are unwell, the business will suffer.

Addressing digital wellness will significantly improve the health of knowledge workers, who spend a considerable amount of time using technology in their work.

Unscheduled absenteeism such as illness, personal problems, or job dissatisfaction costs roughly $3,600 each year per hourly worker and $2,660 each year per salaried employee .

But just because a worker is present, it doesn’t mean they are effective. When unwell staff show up to work, their performance generally suffers. This is commonly known as presenteeism. The economic impact of presenteeism on the U.S. economy surpasses $150 billion per year in lost productivity — far eclipsing the costs associated with annual absenteeism.

The business suffers both when the employee is absent and when the employee feels compelled, either internally or externally, to work despite their health concerns.

But there’s hope. A team of Harvard researchers discovered that for every dollar invested in wellness programs, employers can save $3.27 in medical expenses and $2.73 in costs related to absenteeism.

That means an IT service team with 20 employees can recover up to $21,675 per year by addressing mental wellness in the workplace. Use this mental health ROI calculator to find the amount you could be saving in your industry.

Face it: It’s time for leadership to consider what aspects of work are causing mental and physical stress. Your team and your business need you to build a digital wellness strategy. Keep reading and we’ll help you find a solution.

Digital wellness for the mind

70% of workers experience stress related to health, their job, and finances. And over 20% spend a minimum of five hours per week during working hours burdened by these stressors.

When the workday is filled with excessive screen time, constant connectivity, and information overload, stress and anxiety are heightened even more. Additionally, overreliance on technology can lead to social isolation and hinder interpersonal relationships.

When a worker’s mind is occupied with stressors, it becomes much harder to be present and work efficiently.

Leaders must not overlook problems, attribute the lack of productivity solely to motivation , or expect their team members to solve issues on their own. Action is necessary at the organizational level. And implementing a digital wellness strategy designed to enhance mental well-being empowers individuals to manage their day effectively and reclaim valuable time.

Here are six ways to improve digital wellness and support mental health:

  • Encourage focusing on a single task
  • Set technology boundaries
  • Recommend workers take breaks away from the screens
  • Manage notifications
  • Advocate for mindful technology usage
  • Schedule regular in-person interactions

Digital wellness for the body

Chronic pain costs the United States about $216 billion each year due to lost productivity. When we include money spent on treatments, that cost becomes even higher. In the worst situations, people living with chronic pain might lose their jobs or incur such high medical bills that they end up in poverty.

While leaders may feel uncomfortable discussing their employees’ ailments, it’s important to listen and maintain open pathways of communication with team members. By empowering teams and designing their jobs with autonomy , workers can better care for their physical health and work more productively.

The concept of autonomy is simple: on days when pain is bad, hold off on time- and attention-demanding tasks that will require workers to miss breaks or spend prolonged hours in front of screens. When days are better, fit those tasks or work hours in.

Here are five ways to improve digital wellness and support physical health:

  • Enable async collaboration
  • Reduce information overload
  • Limit screen time
  • Adopt relaxation techniques
  • Adjust work schedules

Designing a digital wellness strategy

To promote healing and improve digital well-being in your organization, experts recommend flexible work, digital detox challenges, and reducing distractions in the workplace.

But does any of that really work?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every team, workstyle, and person is different. To make informed changes that aren’t driven by biases and opinions, we must have a collective understanding of the workday.

Sounds like a lot. But don’t worry, we are here to help.

Produce8 provides leaders and teams with all the information they need to build a digital wellness plan and then measure whether the changes are having a positive impact. We ensure that your efforts are not wasted. Get the data you need to create space for great work.

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