What is digital wellness?
Digital wellness (also known as digital wellbeing or digital health) is the pursuit of an intentional and healthy relationship with technology, both in the workplace and in personal life. With many jobs and everyday activities relying on the internet and digital devices, the goal of digital wellness is to promote healthy use habits and assist the user in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in their daily life.
For example, these technologies might add “do not disturb” features that block out focused work hours and silence smartphone notifications, or alert users when their daily screen time has surpassed healthy limits. Other digital wellness technologies focus on improving the employee experience inside a digital workspace. These digital wellness tools include automation and microapps that eliminate the distraction of routine approval tasks and calendar RSVPs.
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The growing popularity of digital health and wellness is due to a link between increased technology use and mental health issues, including attention issues and behavior problems. In the workplace, excessive technology usage has also been associated with burnout, suggesting employers should adopt tools and practices that moderate technology usage to promote healthier life and work.
In addition to mitigating these negative outcomes, focusing on digital wellbeing in the workplace offers benefits for both businesses and employees. The benefits of digital wellbeing include:
Stronger employee engagement and higher productivity: By promoting digital wellness through digital workspace technologies that encourage focus and reduce distraction, organizations can reduce worker exhaustion and improve employee engagement and productivity.
Improved employee satisfaction: Many employees identify better work-life balance as essential to job satisfaction, and digital wellness is an important element of this balance. By adopting digital wellbeing practices like unplugged whitespace time and flexible work arrangements, organizations can improve satisfaction in their workforce.
Better health outcomes: A lack of attention to digital wellness can lead to tech addiction, which is associated with higher stress levels and anxiety. If workers face burnout from excessive use of technology, they are more likely to take sick days and be less confident at work. By focusing on digital wellbeing, employees can alleviate these risks and enjoy better mental and physical health outcomes.
There are a number of best practices to optimize digital health and wellness. Common digital wellness practices include implementing screen time limits, wearing blue-light-blocking glasses to alleviate eyestrain, and muting notifications on mobile devices to prevent constant interruptions. It is also important to maintain healthy habits with physical activity, nutrition, and sleep.
On the organizational level, companies can promote digital health and wellness by scheduling whitespace time on employee calendars. This is designated “unplugged time” when employees can avoid using screens and other digital technology at work, choosing instead to focus on face-to-face meetings, brainstorming, and other mindfulness activities.
In addition to the digital wellbeing apps and technology mentioned above, modern digital workspaces can support digital wellness at work. By bringing together all the apps and files an employee needs to be productive, digital workspace technology minimizes many of the distractions that can have a negative impact on digital wellbeing.
To further promote digital wellness, these modern workspaces can also use microapps to streamline and automate simple work tasks. This promotes digital wellness by allowing employees to focus on meaningful work instead of being interrupted by requests to approve routine expense reports or RSVP for calendar invites. This can improve stress employees and anxiety at work while helping workers to get more meaningful work done in less time.
While overuse of technology has a negative impact on digital wellness, there are a number of digital wellbeing apps and technology designed to support digital health. These digital wellbeing apps encourage users to be aware of their relationship with technology and offer tools and tips to help people use digital technology more deliberately.
For example, digital wellbeing apps and technology can tell users how many hours of screen time they’ve had over a set period. If screen time has increased beyond the user’s average or healthy limits, the digital wellbeing app can alert them to take a break. It’s also common for digital wellness apps to filter out excessive cell phone notifications or messages that can distract a user’s attention.
Citrix empowers companies to give employees the flexibility to work seamlessly from anywhere, with a range of digital workspace solutions to support digital wellness.