Often times, when you hear about “the future of work”, it sounds like a sci-fi dreamland. There are robots that make your macchiatos. Everything, from your office chair to your milk, is connected with the IoT (Internet of Things). It all sounds new and fresh and wonderful.
But we don’t see the most important innovations for employees coming in the way of flying cars or coffee machines. Many of the most impactful tech changes are happening at the intersection of technology and employee wellness. These innovations have allowed for paradigm shifts in employee lifestyle, culture, and wellness.
Many companies are taking notice and leading the charge in making the future of the work exist today.
And for those that haven’t yet, there are so many opportunities to transform employee wellness through technology. Let’s take a look at a few ways this change is happening now:
Technology to Improve The Quality of Work
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are already making powerful changes to how employees spend their workdays. As we continue to learn how technology will change the nature of work, we’re already seeing how AI and ML can save money, create efficiencies, and eliminate repetitive tasks.
Repetitive tasks are one of the biggest causes of employee burnout. Some research suggests that the boredom caused by it can affect everything from our judgment to our risk assessment to our control over our emotions.
AI and ML can automate many repetitive tasks, like copying over files or entering data, allowing employees to focus more on creative solutions and innovative thinking.
Machines can also help us be better humans in the workplace.
Humans have biases, both conscious and unconscious. These can create challenges when hiring or promoting people.
AI and ML can help eliminate bias in the hiring process, that way, employers can focus on the important aspects of the employee, their performance, and their character.
Technology Enhancing Corporate Mental Wellness
Wellness is often left out of the conversation on the future of work.
And even though more and more companies offer “wellness” programs, many companies think about “wellness” as optional, when it’s actually the most important thing. The company of the future should put the wellbeing of their employees above all else.
Take employee mental wellbeing. Here are some staggering statistics:
- Right now, as many as 40% of Millennials struggle with anxiety
- 75% of Gen-Z and 50% of Millennials have left a job due to stress, or anxiety
- Every year, 1 in 5 employees deals with a mental wellness issue
But thanks to technology, we can work towards solving these problems.
For instance, using data predictive models, it’s now possible to track mental health trends in the workplace. Using behavioral analytics, HR professionals can find better treatment options for employees who may be struggling.
Again, this is not the future or some hypothetical trend. There are already several companies doing this (and they’re making a profound difference in workplace wellness).
Companies like Gympass promote the importance of physical activity. It is one of the foundations for employee wellness programs. Speaking of which…
Technology Improving Corporate Physical Wellness
Inactivity is one of the biggest threats facing our society today.
- Approximately 1.4 billion people worldwide (28% of the world) are inactive
- Inactivity is the fourth-leading cause of death (3.2 million annually)
- Inactivity-related deaths contribute to $13.7 billion lost productivity annually
We don’t need to be paradigms of fitness to be physically well. But activity is good for human happiness, health, and productivity.
A recent study found that even ten minutes of physical activity a day significantly boosts our mood. And the more you exercise, the happier you are. Not to mention, all the studies pointing out lowering your odds of getting diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
And in the workplace, active employees tend to be engaged employees. You see powerful numbers, like a 31% boost in productivity or a decrease in attrition rates from 15% to 9%, just because employees are more active. Some studies show that active employees triple their creative output.
We constantly think about how we can leverage technology to encourage employees to be active, thus making them happier, more productive members of a team?
So, SoftBank and Gympass are partnering to build a platform that does just that. We use AI, analytics, and automation to create a system of support and insight for employees and employers. This helps them get active and stay active.
Conclusion: What can companies do right now?
The question of the future of work isn’t: how advanced is your technology?
The question is: how are you using technology to make your employees’ lives better?
The future of work is now. And it’s starting with employee wellness.