Can mindfulness save employees from digital burnout?

In the increasingly stressful world of work where digital advances have made us ever more online and available, a new study has shown that mindfulness can help. Lara Alvarez Torres summarises the findings.

Work has become more computer-based and stressful

In the post-pandemic world, work has become more home-based and digital, where we’re more dependent on e-mail, instant messaging and smart phones. While it offers flexibility, it also brings challenges like stress, overload, and anxiety—whether you’re at home or in the office. It’s now clear that companies need to equip their employees with tools to cope with digital work. A new study has shown that one powerful tool for this is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about staying present and aware, and it’s been shown to help reduce stress and burnout at work. The study explored how mindfulness can help when we’re constantly connected to our emails, instant messaging, and phones.

Using the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model by Arnold Bakker and Evangelia Demerouti, this new research shows that high job demands, and low job resources lead to more stress and burnout. And that mindfulness is one of the key resources that can provide balance.

The dark side of digital work

The study looks at five major issues that come with digital work: 1) digital workplace stress, 2) overload, 3) anxiety, 4) fear of missing out (FOMO), and 5) addiction.

These issues can lead to burnout but are less severe for those who are healthy, mindful, or confident with digital tools. For employees that feel that they must be constantly connected and available, it can become overwhelming, and even become addictive.

Mindfulness; a positive resource

Mindfulness is a positive resource that helps reduce the negative effects of the digital workplace and support employees’ wellbeing. The researchers did a series of interviews with employees from the UK who use technology daily and found that anxiety, stress and overload were common factors. They also interviewed other employees who were introducing mindfulness practices in their daily work routine and who felt it helped to reduce the negative impacts of digital work.

Supporting employees’ mental health is more important than ever

Mindfulness can be a game-changer in reducing the negative effects of digital work and boosting employee wellbeing. Employees who practice mindfulness tend to experience less burnout and better overall health. As our workplaces become more digital, it’s crucial for companies to support their employees’ wellbeing with resources like mindfulness training.

As we navigate the digital workplace, it’s clear that supporting employees’ mental health is more important than ever. Mindfulness is a simple but effective way to combat stress and burnout. By incorporating mindfulness and other wellbeing policies, companies can ensure their employees stay healthy and productive in this new digital era.