Increasing digitization is a burden on family life and health

Increasing digitization is a burden on family life and health

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Digitization of the working world puts a strain on family life and health
As a new study shows, the increasing digitalization of the world of work and constant accessibility at work have a negative impact on family life and health. The scientists therefore recommend, among other things, "digital abstinence from work in free time".

Negative impact on health
A study by the Center for Disability and Integration at the University of St. Gallen shows that the increasing digitalization of the world of work and constant accessibility at work put a strain on family life and have a negative impact on health. Over 8,000 German employees were surveyed for the study entitled “Effects of digitization of work on the health of employees”.

Every fourth employee feels that his private life is affected
However, many, especially younger people, see new techniques in the job as positive. As the dpa news agency reports, one in four employees feels that their private and family life is affected by their job requirements. The figure for people who claim to suffer from digitization is 39 percent. As study leader Stephan Böhm explained, digitalization also poses risks such as burnout or headaches.

Digitization is not a specter
The study, which was commissioned by the Barmer GEK health insurance company in cooperation with the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag", states: "There is only a slight connection between the number of sick days and the degree of digitalization in companies".

According to Böhm, digitization is not a specter, but it can significantly increase emotional exhaustion. Especially when digitization, the fear of losing a job and a bad relationship with the boss come together, the pressure on those affected is great.

Technology optimism among younger people
According to the study, there is a technology optimism, especially among the younger ones. 59 percent of those under 30 say that technology makes them more productive in their personal lives; only 46 percent of the over 60s mean that. On the other hand, the boys find themselves more forced to work faster (21 percent) and complain about having to do more work than is actually possible (16 percent).

Authors give instructions
The study authors also have some "recommendations for action" ready. One should, for example, “sensitize employees to the opportunities and dangers of digitization and train self-management skills”, for example through “digital abstinence from work in free time”.

In addition, "managers should be trained in the requirements and design options of digitization". It can also make sense to create working time flexibility and offer home office opportunities. "Seeing digitalization as a great opportunity and not just as a threat."

Digital diet for smartphone users
On the occasion of the presentation of the study, the Federal Minister of Labor Andrea Nahles (SPD) also warned that one had to learn to use a smartphone and other technology - that is, to put the devices away more often. Scientists are also constantly advocating such a digital diet for mobile phone users.

According to the minister, the economy must enable employees to organize their working hours less rigidly: "I think we can enable more self-determined working hours."

Mitigate health risks through digital work
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) was asked to contain health risks through digital work. DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach told the German Press Agency that a political framework was needed "that enables new freedoms and at the same time offers sufficient protection for health". And the SPD social politician Katja Mast said: "It must not happen that freedom and opportunities for recreation are lost in the spare time." (Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Future of Healthcare. Improving Health Outcomes: A Prescription (June 2022).


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