Overcoming the Disability Epidemic: Technology and Wellness in the Workplace

Tasha Patterson@Work

By Les Kertay, PhD, ABPP, LP

Chief Medical Officer
R3 Continuum

Technology is changing the face of work.

The Internet has created an integrated, globally interconnected business environment that is fast, flexible, and constantly evolving. Job demands have changed, training requirements and methodology have changed, and the workforce is populated with multiple generations that differ in their technological comfort and savvy. Gone, often, are the boundaries of the 9 to 5 workday and the four walls of a fixed office. We can work from anywhere, at almost any time, if we have cellphone service and an Internet connection.

Unfortunately, absence management processes haven’t always kept up with these tectonic shifts in the workplace.

Flexible technology creates opportunity, but with those rewards comes, if not more stress, at least different stresses than we have been used to managing. Workplace stress has a negative impact on productivity in many ways. About half of highly stressed workers report being disengaged, compared to only about 10% of workers who report low stress.1 Highly stressed workers take more sick days: 4.6 sick days per year compared to 2.6 days for low-stressed employees.2

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