Tech Solutions: Can They Reduce Employee Stress?

Tech Solutions: Can They Reduce Employee Stress?

January 04, 2022

It’s a well-known fact that today’s workforce is super-stressed and overwhelmed. Such a problem can lead to serious health issues and cause employees to be unmotivated and perform poorly. It’s a concern for employers, especially since the estimated cost of work-related stress in the U.S. is around $300 billion (according to the American Institute of Stress).

An Employee Benefit News article points out that, while more than two-thirds of employers have adopted some kind of health and wellness program, the majority of them don't adequately address or even include solutions that support mental health.

So … what can be done about this prevalent issue?

First and foremost, stress reduction starts from the top-down as management and bosses play a key role in employee adoption and lasting engagement. Not only are they responsible for communicating about available resources, they need to literally and figuratively walk the walk. When leadership incorporates stress management into their own lives, employees understand the company's commitment to these practices and feel more comfortable taking a break.

Some of the most effective wellness programs leverage a variety of technologies that offer something for everyone and make it easier for employees to engage and benefit, regardless of where they are or the time of day. Popular technology-based solutions include:

Digital health platforms. Connecting employees to health coaches, board-certified physicians, and colleagues who can provide support for those dealing with stress and offer guidance with chronic disease resulting from, or adding to, individuals’ stress levels.

Digital health games. Employees receive encouragement and rewards through fun, engaging games in which they compete against others in stress-busting exercise to reach health goals.

Wearables. Employees can sync popular wearable devices, such as their Apple Watch, to visualize the impact of guided meditations on their heart rate. Through smart feedback, employees can better understand which meditation exercises, locations, and times of day have the greatest impact on their heart rate, and therefore, stress level.

Virtual-reality-guided meditation. Combining an immersive VR with mindfulness meditation can help transport employees to relaxing environments, bringing a whole new dimension to the meditation experience. Using apps on their cell phones and portable VR headsets, employees are able to practice meditation any place and time.

In addition to stress reduction, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that meditation can heighten attention spans, improve sleep, reduce chronic pain, fight addictions like drug/alcohol abuse and binge-eating.

The bottom line: Stressed-out employees can have significant health and financial consequences for your clients. It’s time to start educating your customers about the benefits of incorporating mental health programs, like digital health platforms and meditation, into their corporate wellness plans to mitigate employee stress and improve productivity.