The Link Between Technology and Happiness
What effect does technology have on workplace happiness, and why should employers care?
Technology can be a great tool to improve workplace happiness, resulting in better communication, increased productivity and even an improved work life balance. Unhappy and disengaged employees can be extremely costly to employers so an engaged and productive workforce can be crucial for company success. Unfortunately, much of the discussion about the use of technology in the workplace still focuses on the negatives, such as learning new computer skills and programs putting stress on workers, especially older or less-educated ones. Also, according to Forbes, more employees are becoming distracted by personal screen time, which is ultimately decreasing productivity levels. But with all the potential benefits of good workplace tech, it’s time to change the conversation and start talking about how to harness this power for good.
One of the brilliant things about technology is the ability to instantly connect with people anytime, anywhere. This means that employers have the ability to keep staff up to date with the click of a button, yet it is reported by Gallup that only 13% of employees strongly agree that their leaders are effectively communicating with their organisation. This study also found that employees whose managers held regular meetings with them were almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers didn’t. A study from Spark Hire found that 20% said that their manager failed to keep promises, and 18% said they didn’t think were given the credit they deserved from their manager, which are both things that could be solved with effective communication. With the average cost of replacing employees standing at £5,433, a poor communications infrastructure can be extremely costly for employers. With workplace tech providing employers the ability to utilise push notifications, instant messaging, email updates, and much more, there’s no excuse for not keeping employees in the loop.
When staff use more modern, to date technology, they are far happier and we all know that happier employees are more productive. In fact, outdated devices have been shown to cause negativity from 56% of employees, which can result in a massive loss of productivity. Talent for Growth reported that sick days alone can cost UK organisations nearly £29 billion a year, and was also found that companies with low engagement scores have 33% less operating income than companies with high engagement. This means that if companies stay up to date with their tech, not only are their staff are more likely to work at a more productive level, but they can really improve their bottom line.
Work Life Balance
A study from The New Digital Workplace Divide found that 24% people were unhappy that they do not have the devices to enable them to work on the move. Millennial workers are much more likely to want to work flexibly, with 70% citing it on their wish list. Flexible working allows employees to take charge of their work-life balance, accommodating other commitments such as childcare, assisting relatives, or even hobbies. However, a study by The Association of Amba found that mobile working is still not the norm in the UK, after finding that as much as 91% of people still work solely from the office. While some employees must be based in the workplace, and work structed hours, with 76% of workers in 2015 admitting that they prefer to do important tasks out of the office, it would be foolish to ignore the benefits that flexible working could bring the workforce.
Technology enables us to work quicker and more efficiently, which is ultimately the main goal for any business because it means they spend less time and money looking to replace workers. Using technology to engage your current staff however makes their overall productivity levels rise, their mental health better and their work life much more enjoyable.
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