New digital tools for wellbeing at work

Is wellbeing in the workplace a passing fad or a real challenge for companies?

Let’s not get confused with the different concepts such as the quality of life in the workplace, wellbeing in the workplace and happiness at work. The first is covered by legislation, while the second is a way to boost employee engagement and performance in order to reduce turnover and absenteeism and ensure that employees feel involved in their work. The third concept involves the creation of a new position, the ‘Chief Happiness Officer’, the installation of games and areas for fun in the workplace and goes beyond the scope of a company’s role, which is not to make people happy, but to provide goods or services.

HR departments need to adopt an approach to handle quality of life in the workplace and the overall health of the employees. Such an approach is mainly based on the quality of management, the quality of the work environment (with preventive procedures to avoid hardship factors and stress-related psycho-social risks) and the balance between the personal and the professional – and this in spite of the paradox of hyper-connectivity through digital devices, smartphones, tablets and computers.

What do you think of the issue of the hyper-connected workplace?

We all use connected devices on a daily basis. Gen Ys – also known as Millennials – are used to this. They are the first generation to grow up with the Internet and technology is an integral part of their lives. The Generation Z group is already doing the same. However, it has been found that people from the previous generation (X) have become, or are becoming, addicted to digital technology. We therefore use the term Generation C for ‘Connected’, which does not describe an age group, but rather an addiction to technology. And we will all probably soon be part of Generation C.

We find that ‘hyper-connected’ employees are very demanding; they want to communicate ‘AT AW AD’ (anytime, anywhere, any device) and this goes beyond just their company. Preventing access to the Internet, messaging and social media would be a losing battle for companies. On the contrary, companies need to take advantage of new technology and encourage instant access to information, available 24/7, anywhere, on any device, even personal devices (BYOD = Bring Your Own Device).

For generation C, the line between personal and professional is blurred. The concepts of ‘working hours’ and ‘workplace’ are being redefined. Companies, and particularly HR departments, must be careful and allow employees times when they can ‘log off’.

What is the impact for a new generation of HR solutions?

The new HR 3.0 generation solution will be a key component to help companies with new work methods used by employees, by ensuring optimum mobility. Using an HR application in a mobile situation is not a bad thing. Employees need to be able to interact with their HR workspace from either a traditional computer in the office or a mobile device, and that includes their own personal devices.

We need to offer them a user experience that is as user-friendly and advanced as their own devices. For example, in their HR workspace, they could access all key information using a solution with ‘responsive design’ that automatically adapts to the display area available. Employees could access a personalized space, that shows them HR e-services, suggestions and alerts that are tailored to their specific needs and that take into account their profiles, preferences and professional situation.

Can digital technologies help improve the quality of life or wellbeing in the workplace?

Many digital platforms have appeared recently that deal with the quality of life or wellbeing in the workplace. These are used, for example, to collect data from employees to adequately assess and manage their quality of life in the workplace.

Employees can express their opinions freely and anonymously, individually or in groups by answering questions on the quality of management or how they feel today. Startups such as Wittyfit, Weview or Octomine are examples. These platforms allow employees to play an active role in wellbeing and the quality of life at work.

There have been many attempts to make things easier for employees with startups such as GeoLocaux (algorithm used to find the best office location based on employees’ transportation) and Never Eat Alone, which allows employees to set up lunches with each other.

The arrival of numerous startups focusing on happiness in the workplace, grouped together in the ‘Lab RH’ association or featuring the ‘HappyTech’ label, are a sign that this market is promising!

How does Sopra HR assist its HR customers?

One of the basics of the new generation of HR 3.0 solutions is to promote interoperability between the traditional HRIS, the employee and manager workspace and innovative solutions from HR startups to deploy innovative uses within an HR ecosystem. Sopra HR anticipates new generations of HR solutions, fosters co-innovation within the HR ecosystem and provides support to its customers to meet the challenges of HR performance and the user experience. Sopra HR helps its customers ensure a successful digital transformation to HR 3.0.