Introducing the groundbreaking new solution disrupting Australian EAP – Thrive Mental Health is now part of the Vitality Works family   Find out more

The benefits of a digital wellbeing challenge

Happy wellbeing challenge participants

Going digital doesn’t have to mean ignoring the physical. We’re now living in a digital age; our workforce is mobile, our files are on the cloud, and our meetings are conducted online. But while this may have had an exceptionally positive impact on productivity, it hasn’t had the same influence on health. From 1995 to 2015, the percentage of obese Australian adults rose from 56.3 percent to 63.4 percent. And much of this has to do with work-life balance issues.

We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Beyond that, we need to commute, complete day-to-day chores, and run our households – it can be impossible to find time for yourself. If employees aren’t thinking about their health when they’re at work, they probably aren’t thinking about it at home, either. Organisations need to embrace digital tools, not only to increase their own operational efficiency but also to engage and help their employees. Healthy employees work harder, are more likely to stay with the business, and are less likely to require paid leave.

What better way to do this than a digital wellbeing challenge?

Benefits of digital wellbeing challenge

Digital wellbeing challenges are a new evolution of workplace health initiatives. Challenges such as Fit24 operate as both team-building and health-building exercises, bringing together a group of employees that can help each other meet health goals. This replaces older health initiatives, which were often met with reluctance and resentment.

Here are some of the principle advantages of a digital challenge:

  • It’s easy to integrate into your daily routine

From maintaining your grocery list to paying your bills, technology is now a part of your life in many ways. Modern employees are used to tracking an exceptional number of day-to-day tasks through their email, smartphone, and other devices. A digital wellbeing challenge takes advantage of this propensity to schedule out and track our days through technology.

When it comes to health and fitness, the most significant hurdle is simply building bad habits.

A digital wellbeing challenge leverages technology to integrate fitness and health into an employee’s daily routine. In Fit24, employees are automatically given goals at intervals and can log their results online. It is convenient, easy to use, and easy to keep track.

  • You can drive positive change through gamification

Gamification is one of the most effective methods of driving real, long-lasting change. Gamification provides positive feedback to a set of tasks, creating a positive reinforcement loop that encourages specific behaviours. Nearly every popular app, from Candy Crush to Facebook, uses a system of gamification to encourage users to engage.

For employees, gamification gives them direct, specific goals to work towards. Fit24 creates new goals at intervals, all designed to improve different aspects of employee health. As employees progress, they are visibly rewarded through points that they’ve earned. They can easily compare their success to those in their team or many others, so they know how well they’re doing at a larger scale.

  • Increase collaboration and team work

How do you get your employees to work productively together? Team work. And though many businesses do engage in team building exercises, the focus of these team building exercises are usually on the organisation itself rather than where it should be – the employees. Team work centred around health has some major advantages. Employees are already interested and invested in their own health.

Working with others to improve their health is a bonding experience, as others are helping them with a personal task. Ultimately, it helps employees grow closer, learn more about each other, and care about each other’s needs – all within a structure provided by Fit24. This type of collaboration can be especially challenging because it does require that all employees work together to be as successful as possible, and these skills will ultimately translate into their work.

A stronger company culture and a transformed workforce

By investing in your employees, you can create an improved, health-conscious environment that is essential to every modern employee. Even large organisations such as Woolworths are now attempting to engage their employees and transform their company culture.

At the end of their digital challenge, employees will be more aware of what they need to do to eat better, exercise more, and sleep well. This doesn’t just translate to happier, healthier employees; it translates to happier, healthier people.

Businesses need to take a holistic approach to their employee satisfaction, as so much of an employee’s life is wrapped up in their work. The more a business asks of their employees, the more they must also be prepared to give back – and in so doing, they’ll be able to improve the top and bottom lines of their business