5 digital solutions that can promote well-being at work

There is nothing stopping digital innovation and, sooner or later, it will reach your company. More and more such applications are also emerging in the areas of prevention, safety, health and well-being.

1. Protect eyes with automatically adjusted display brightness

The eyes of VDU workers must constantly adjust to the brightness of the screen, which is tiring. Software like the freely downloadable f.lux offers a simple solution: it adjusts the brightness to the time of day and the working environment.

2. Use Fitcoins to fight prolonged sedentary posture

Sitting for too long is detrimental to one’s health. Indeed, too little exercise can contribute to the development of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or depression. In the Netherlands, the organisations Health2work, Its My Life, Merin, Nationale Nederlanden, ONVZ, SAP Netherlands, Stichting Vitaal Breda and Viteau have joined forces to drastically reduce unhealthy sedentary behaviour in offices by 2025.

Specifically, they commissioned the development of an innovative health platform that provides employees with insight into their health and sitting behaviour. The technology collects data via fitness trackers that measure workers’ heart rate and the duration of their movements. The data is forwarded to an app. Then, based on an algorithm, active office workers earn Fitcoins – a cryptocurrency – as a reward for their healthy behaviour, which they can continually add to their digital wallet.

Despite its obvious resemblance to the bitcoin, Fitcoins can only be used to pay for healthy activities, products and services. These would include yoga classes, access to the swimming pool or ingredients for a healthy meal. The result: a self-sufficient ecosystem that encourages healthy behaviour in the workplace.

3. Training courses in virtual reality

With the help of virtual reality, realistic role play scenarios are being developed to train employees. In the Netherlands, for example, a project has been rolled out to help staff in health care cope better with verbal, physical and psychological aggression in the workplace. They are immersed in simulated situations and learn how to react to different social conditions. Those skills contribute to a healthier and safer working environment.

This technology is also increasingly being used to practice dangerous manipulations at work or to learn how to use new machines. For instance, US Postal Service drivers safely practice their route in a VR environment.

4. Registering working conditions with wearables

Many ‘wearables’ are able to record data in the workplace. Think of biosensors, light trackers, exoskeletons, smart glasses or sensors in safety clothing that detect noise nuisance or measure particulate matter levels in the working environment. These are a useful addition to the compulsory risk analysis, which also makes it possible to optimally match personal protective equipment and work clothing to possible dangers.  

Wearables are relatively easy to use and provide a wealth of data. By pooling the measurements collected by all employees, organisations can take major steps to make sure they offer a safer working environment and have healthy employees.

5. Detecting emotions with brain sensors

What appears to be science fiction today is already a reality in some Chinese and American companies: under their cap or helmet, employees wear wireless sensors that read their emotions using artificial intelligence.

The technology has great potential for risk occupations especially. If electricians or train drivers are struggling with negative emotions, for example, their workload can be reduced or they can be given sick leave. In such cases, the sensors help prevent occupational accidents.

Obviously, such radical technology – like wearables – feeds the debate on privacy issues.

Keep your employees mentally and physically fit 

Healthy, happy employees are invaluable to your organisation. Mensura will assist you, providing advice, risk analyses and training to create optimal working conditions and reduce avoidable absenteeism. Discover our complete absenteeism approach or contact us.