Competitive workplaces and working from home have sparked a surge in employees using out-of-work hours to complete tasks to get ahead. This may seem like a positive but this new norm could be having effects on employees within work hours.
We are now living in a new digital age with many workers using their devices to perform work tasks. This can be a positive for companies- quicker replies and a more on-the-ball workforce. However, this mix between the two can also dissipate boundaries between personal and work spaces, leading to exhaustion and in the long term resentment from employees toward the company. 

A survey published by Nuffield Health reported that 36% of workers feel increased pressure to respond quickly and be present at their computers out of work hours, further contributing to feelings of stress and anxiety, and potentially exacerbating existing mental health issues.

Burnout, caused by removing the boundary between office and home have both a physical and mental impact on employees. These include anxiety, depression, broken relationships and impacts on both optical and muscular health.

A recent study on remote workers from the University of Plymouth found that 70% of respondents reported having a more sedentary lifestyle since they began working from home, with a third increasing their food and alcohol intake as a result.

Some of the signs of hidden overwork to look out for are: 

Teams/Slack reply late at night or on the weekends: This may seem like an obvious one but in larger companies, this late-night work can go unnoticed. This time should be spent for employees to unwind ready for the next day at work

Exhaustion due to a lack of sleep: The average adult spends 8 hours and 41 minutes on digital devices each day. Although a lot of this time is within work hours a lot of it eats into employees’ downtime- including sleep. Excessive screen usage and exposure to blue light affect our ability to and the quality of sleep.

Social anxiety/ a lack of social skills: Being overworked, especially in a digital setting can cause issues for employees within social settings. This is mainly linked to tiredness but also the overuse of technology-driven professional interactions.

While HR teams are addressing issues such as mental, physical and financial wellbeing, there also needs to be a focus on what experts are believing to be the new fourth pillar of wellbeing- digital wellbeing.
So, what can be done?
At Erika we believe in helping employees build healthier relationships with technology by providing the tools needed to achieve digital balance, preventing burn-out and improving their personal wellbeing. 
The Erika App allows users to unplug from work on their personal phones by enabling them to effortlessly mute work apps when they are at home, with family or on holiday and to set digital-free focus periods during their day whether they are at work, the gym, working on personal development or relaxing. 
Erika rewards users for reaching their digital wellbeing goals, improving their mental and physical health and creating a happier and healthier workforce.
To find out more, please visit our website: or, alternatively, get in contact via LinkedIn with our CEO & founder Nicholas Powell or Head of Product Reuben Omolu.

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