April is Stress Awareness Month, a time to recognize the negative impact of stress on employee well-being and productivity. It’s essential to prioritize employee well-being in addition to physical wellness to address this issue, as higher levels of engagement can lead to lower levels of stress, absenteeism, turnover, accidents, and increased customer loyalty.
The new hybrid work environment presents new challenges related to communication, productivity, motivation, stress management, and balance. To address these challenges, a workplace culture that prioritizes human qualities is essential. Technology with a human soul, built on a foundation of empathy, can help facilitate human connections in a virtual environment and combat stress and burnout.
Technology can play a crucial role in addressing the challenges of the new hybrid work environment and promoting employee well-being. For instance, in a partnership between Thrive Global and Cisco, the Thrive Reset app is being fused with Webex by Cisco to combat virtual fatigue. This innovative solution provides one-minute breaks to reflect, recharge, and break the chain of cumulative stress, based on research showing that it takes 60 to 90 seconds to course-correct from stress.
Webex by Cisco also offers video intelligence capabilities, such as Cinematic Meetings with Cisco, which follows individuals through voice and facial recognition, automatically switching views to capture the best angle of the active speaker. This benefits people in the room with clear focus on the speaker, and hybrid workers not in the meeting room will feel included even if they are not physically in the room. Meeting Zones help groups that meet in open spaces to be visible within defined boundaries, so that outside distractions are removed, making it easier for everyone to participate fully regardless of where they are located.
Webex’s Collaboration insights go even further, providing private and personalized insights to individuals, teams, and organizations. Based on the patterns provided by these insights, employees can tailor their meetings so that they are not back-to-back or introduce 10 min break between calls. Employees can also reduce stress on their colleagues by gaining awareness of meetings that are scheduled outside of attendee working hours. By utilizing technology like this, employers can prioritize their own well-being and foster a workplace culture that values innovation, courage, empathy, and diversity. For example, within the Webex marketing team, these values are practiced creating an inclusive, equitable, and healthy environment where the best ideas can flourish.
Stress is a significant issue that affects employee well-being and productivity, making it essential for employers to prioritize employee well-being in addition to physical wellness. The new hybrid work environment presents new challenges that require a workplace culture that values human connection and the technology that can facilitate it.
As we celebrate Stress Awareness Month, let us take a moment to prioritize promoting well-being in the workplace and creating a culture of well-being that benefits both individuals and the organization. Let us embrace the new normal and redefine it for a better future, where colleagues can connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world.