BLOG How Behavioral Science and AI Can Improve Well-Being at Work

WELL-BEING AT WORK – When the covid-19 pandemic hit last year, many companies had to accelerate their digital transformation plans because their staff had to work remotely.

A year later, and although the vaccine rollout is accompanied by a gradual lifting of restrictions linked to the health crisis, it is unlikely that there will be a full return to the office. Today, most companies plan to adopt a hybrid working model, where employees work both in the office and remotely.

This hybrid model is only possible because companies have implemented and secured the digital practices necessary to support remote workers in their online activities. Now that this change has taken place, our conversations with customers have changed from “How do I get my employees to work remotely?” to “How can I measure if this new way of doing things is working?”

Whether it’s fear of burnout or declining productivity after spending too many hours online, businesses are looking for ways to analyze and improve virtual experiences and well-being. of their employees.

Digital presenteeism is a problem that arises with remote working. Homeworkers are often faced with a heavier workload and, due to the feeling that they need to be online and available as much as possible, their workweek has increased significantly.

People working from home feel they need to be seen online, since they are no longer in the office, resulting in increased working hours online. It can also manifest as a tendency to schedule more online meetings. Multiple meetings during the day leave less time for substantive work, less time to focus and get our work done. Some employees may join meetings just for visibility, not because they need to be present at that meeting.

Addressing these trends and other wellness issues must become a priority for management and HR departments.

How can nudge theory help?

One solution that could help companies foster a more positive and inclusive work culture is the nudge theory. It is a concept from behavioral science that since people are – to some extent – inherently resistant to change, small suggestions are most effective in changing a person’s behavior. Applied in the workplace, these “nudges” can have a positive impact on a person’s well-being.

Technologies dedicated to the general public are already largely inspired by this nudge theory. This is the case with smartwatches and other apps that use instant notifications to remind end users to stay active and increase their step count. These interactions are now part of the daily life of many consumers.

Using cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, nudge theory can be applied in the workplace to improve a company’s digital culture as well as to ensure employee productivity and well-being.

By combining AI and data with behavioral science, organizations can inspire employees to adopt beneficial practices or take positive action. Nudges are designed to be precise and personalized. In the same way that a fitness app encourages users to get up after a period of inactivity, employees receive personalized nudges at the right times – these are indirect suggestions or subtle reminders encouraging them to perform small. changes that will boost their long-term well-being.

In practice, how can companies implement this concept?

To achieve this, companies can leverage nudge theory-based platforms that can be integrated into tools that employees will use every day, like Microsoft Outlook and Teams. Simple examples of “nudge” include automatic messages that discourage sending e-mails outside of office hours, as well as alerts to take more breaks or reminders to reserve free time in the office. his agenda to concentrate or have lunch.

Nudge theory can also unlock productivity by facilitating the adoption of new tools and protocols. For example, if the IT department releases a software update, employees might receive a notification inviting them to watch a short video introducing the new features.

Nudge theory-based tools are designed to measure and track employee experiences individually, to find the moments that matter to that person. They can also be used to help management stay in touch with their employees from a distance. For example, this can be used to send an occasional friendly little message by simply asking “How are you today?”, With a selection of icons from which the employee can choose their response. For the employee, this means that the company takes their well-being at work seriously and acts in a positive way, without being intrusive. As for the employer and managers, they can receive reports on their team’s level of engagement, replacing annual employee surveys with frequent snapshots and suggestions for positive reinforcement follow-up. This proactive approach can help improve employee retention and build resilience.

This concept applies to most sectors – finance, healthcare, industry… The key to the successful implementation of a “nudge” system is clear and transparent communication that clearly outlines the benefits and responds to any concerns. potential concern about the privacy or use of personal data.

Nudges are designed to improve employee well-being while supporting the operational efficiency of a business – without turning into excessive oversight. As companies gradually return to the office, nudge theory could be the solution to energize digital culture.

See also on The HuffPost: New clip for vaccination uses cognitive biases to convince you

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