The shift to remote work has undeniably changed the way we work across industries. There has been a huge reliance on technology, especially on businesses that have adopted flexible work arrangements.
While technology has become a great way to make work more flexible for the people, a new survey revealed that more employees experienced digital exhaustion.
Digital exhaustion, also called digital fatigue, happens to people who are required to spend a lot of time using digital tools and apps for work.
Digital interactions are possible through technology, but having fewer human-to-human interactions increases feelings of isolation and leads to exhaustion.
The repercussions of digital fatigue in business have become apparent, especially in terms of strategy, so business leaders may want to reconsider their strategies.
Why digital exhaustion should be addressed in the workplace
A study by Gallup shows that only 9% of the employees said they are thriving and engaged with their work in the current setup, while the rest said their performance dropped.
The study also shows employees are prioritizing wellbeing over work, as more than half of employees said they value their family over their careers.
A separate survey by Microsoft also revealed that 6 out of 10 surveyed managers think that productivity has dropped since their shift to remote or flexible work working.
All of these numbers point to one thing: digital fatigue is real and it’s affecting how employees deliver their work.
How to help your employees combat digital exhaustion
Let your employees rest and take their time off
Breaks are important for recovery, and allowing your people to go on breaks whenever they need it is a great first step. However, not all employees will ask for breaks on their own. What you can do is turn some workdays into “breather days,” especially when there’s not much work to be done.
Switch off from communication tools
Scheduling a “switch-off” time, or a time where everyone switches off from work-related digital tools can help people recover from digital exhaustion. Too much use of digital communication tools can be exhausting, so it’s very important to give them off-time to refresh and rejuvenate their wellbeing.
Read more: Dial it down! Online meetings cause burnout
Manage virtual interactions
Be mindful of how you interact with your people and avoid spamming them with constant messaging on chat groups, emails, and other channels. Manage workloads properly – set deadlines, priorities, and boundaries so people can work independently and without too much pressure from the managers.
Put the spotlight on employee care
Create programs and communication channels where people can freely and safely open up about their wellbeing. If possible, hire mental health professionals who can also help your employees who may have some problems dealing with work pressures.
Ultimately, flexible work arrangements are not just about the workspaces. It’s all about the way you manage people as well. Be flexible when dealing with workload and deadlines to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on people.