Switching Off in a Digital World

The modern working world has been driven by rapid advancement in technological growth. Over the years the way we communicate in this digital world has transformed working behaviours, compelling employees to be plugged in 24/7 which has direct correlation with stress, anxiety, and burnout.

Recent research shows almost half of UK employees demand flexibility (47%) with over 40% of employees regularly working overtime, according to data from HR and payroll specialist, SD Worx. Findings show that many people are looking for freedom to organise their lives and work the best way they see fit, and for clear cut points between working hours and personal time.

Research shows that 34% admitted to continuing work after the workday has ended, with 35% who said they had difficulty letting go of work commitments when on leave. Life routines, career and related commitments often makes us feel that there is no room or time for anything else. And when we do try and enjoy some downtime and fun, we often feel guilty or distracted and our minds quickly wander back to the working world. Given that we live in a switched-on digital age, it has become harder than ever for us to physically and mentally switch off.

The overuse of digital devices has been linked to burnout, insomnia, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health, states we are facing an “email epidemic”. Research from the Chartered Management Institute has proven that employees unwittingly cancelled out their entire annual leave by checking emails outside of work hours. One study showed that 70% of professional emails are read within six seconds. Reading emails disrupt working patterns, but many people try to make sure that all emails they receive are marked as ‘read’, to avoid a slowly increasing pile of communications that need to be addressed.

If your workdays involve prolonged screen use, taking some time away from your phone, tablet and TV in the evening naturally helps create a divide between these two aspects of your life. If possible, prohibit any work-related notifications until your next workday, so you’re not tempted to read them as soon as they appear on your phone.

Contrary to the widespread belief that overtime this will result in the surge in productivity, studies reveal that long working hours will lead to loss of efficiency or exhaustion and ultimately will reduce the overall productivity. Studies equally reveal that people who work by availing short breaks are comparatively more productive, than those who work for long hours tirelessly without any rest in between. Work-life balance is crucial for every employee and can result in challenges both for employees as well as the organisation. By providing the required support and help in the form of employee-centric policies and work life programmes, an organisation will be able to reap the benefits of improved employee productivity, reduction in the turnover rate and achieve various cost savings.

A Wellity Workplace Wellbeing Training Title “Disrupting Digital Burnout” helps attendees get their sense of work life balance back, redefining their priorities and exploring ways to mentally and digitally switch off, particularly in a hybrid world.


– Establish the psychological impact of being switched on 24/7

– Explore the role of boundaries, non-negotiables, and limits

– Discover how to practically switch off when working in a remote/hybrid role

– Understand ways to unplug mentally and digitally

For any information on other training topics we offer, contact the Wellity team on hello@wellityglobal.com for more details.

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