It’s time to leave stress at the door with these techie angst-busters…
All work is stressful. When setting out in business, it can feel like you’re being pulled from pillar to post, trying to be in 10 places at once as you get things up and running. Research from the American Institute of Stress has highlighted how 80% of the workforce feel stressed by their job, with almost 50% feeling that they need help with stress management. The way in which you manage your stress levels when you’re setting out can lead to increased productivity in your personal life, business revenue and workforce satisfaction levels.
According to research undertaken by HSE, stress-related illness accounted for a huge 39% of all work-related illnesses over the past year. Nearly 500,000 people took leave due to the pressures of the workplace, losing 11.3 million working days, with an average leave of 23 days per case. If you think of this in monetary terms (as we business-minded folk tend to do), that’s a pretty large loss. Monitoring the stress levels within your business could therefore increase profitability whilst keeping a few valuable people in good health (two birds, one stone, right?).
But how exactly can we monitor and manage the level of stress within our office walls? Enter technology…
Technology has been slowly inching towards the health sector for years with many of the new wearable tech devices aimed at increasing health and wellbeing. They say prevention is cheaper than the cure, and certainly where the health of your employees and indeed yourself is concerned, an investment in stress management is well worth the expenditure.
Let’s take a look at the techno solutions to your stress-related problems…
As with most cases, where there’s a need, there’s a technical solution. These innovative techie methods of battling stress within the workplace can help you bust the office blues:
You may sometimes hear yourself saying “there’s an app for everything nowadays”. And you’re not wrong! This nifty little app with collaborative biosensor has been engineered specifically to diagnose, manage and regulate stress within the workplace (or indeed, in any place you may feel stressed). PIP is held between your thumb and forefinger, measuring Electro Dermal Activity (electrical currents produced during times of stress to you and I). A complex algorithm and data processing technique then allows PIP to display your stress levels, in real time, on your smartphone.
PIP does not only measure your stress levels, it can help manage them too. The app is full of relaxation techniques and activities designed to help you relax your mind during stressful periods. Relax and Race is one of these activities, a racing game within which your speed increases in accordance with any decrease in stress levels. The more you relax, the more likely you are to win.
Wearable tech is very much the tech of the here and now with the much anticipated Apple Watch high on the Christmas list of many a tech savvy individual. Being able to monitor your bodily responses as they undergo stress is a feature of The Olive, a bracelet designed to aid stress management. In a similar way to PIP, The Olive monitors the body’s skin conductance along with its heart rate and skin temperature, alerting the wearer when it notices stress levels which are higher than normal.
Stress management exercises are also built in to The Olive; when you’re feeling particularly stressed you can alert the bracelet yourself, like summoning your (stress management) genie from a lamp.
Extensive research has found that a healthier life strongly correlates with a happier, less stressful life. Although perhaps you may not be able to control the stressful environment of the workplace, you can take control of your activity outside that space, making sure that your insides are in jolly good shape.
Another wearable for the list, the Nike+ Fuelband is “the smart, simple and fun way to get more active”. The band monitors your daily activity, keeping track of your movements with a simple universal measurement technique designed for all ages, shapes and sizes.