Overworked Brits struggling with the ‘always-on’ culture could benefit from more tech, not less, according to Microsoft.
Though the notion may seem counter-intuitive, the US tech giant claims that offering employees more – or better curated – devices could actually help restore a positive work-life balance.
Currently, more than half (53%) of British businesses report not having enough training in place to help encourage employees to embrace a healthy, balanced lifestyle. What’s more, just 23% of companies regularly run initiatives to help promote staff wellbeing.
It’s little surprise, then, that 87% of Brits report difficulty in switching off from work, whilst 86% say this has a negative impact on their sleep.
Leading the cause to reverse this trend, Microsoft has called on businesses to equip employees with the technology and freedoms to help them strike a better work-life balance. By twinning better corporate practices with tech that’s already widely available, companies can better serve their employees – and get a happier, more productive workforce in the process.
It says that portable devices – such as those in the Surface range – can do everything a standalone office PC could manage. What’s more, if these are equipped with tools such as Flow (which helps automate certain tasks) and MyAnalytics (to shine a clear, numerical light on how much time is spent on certain tasks), users could free up not just space in the calendar, but in the mind as well.
Microsoft also acknowledged the disconnect between the perceived and actual costs associated with such a change. It said around half of employees wished their company invested more in technology and that outdated tools were the biggest obstacles to them achieving their best work. However, programs such as Flow and MyAnalytics are completely free for Office365 users.
In its call for greater work-life balances across Britain, Microsoft urged companies to take three key steps:
- Promote working from home as being business critical – not just an employee benefit. This also extends to managers, who should lead by example.
- Discourage presenteeism and empower employees to work wherever best suits them, to create a much more trusting workplace culture.
Provide employees with the tools and devices needed to manage their workloads effectively.