Increasing digitization is a burden on family life and health
As a new study shows, the increasing digitization of the world of work and the constant accessibility at work have a negative impact on family life and health. Among other things, the scientists therefore recommend a "digital abstinence from work in free times".
Negative impact on health
According to a study by the University of St. Gallen's Center for Disability and Integration, the increasing digitization of the world of work and continuous accessibility at work have a negative impact on family life and have a negative impact on health. More than 8,000 German employees had been interviewed for the study entitled "The Impact of the Digitization of Work on the Health of Employees".
One in four employees feels impaired in their private lives
However, many young people in particular see new techniques in the job as positive. As the news agency dpa reports, one in four employees feels their private and family life is affected by their job requirements. For people who claim to suffer from digitization, it is therefore 39 percent. As Study Director Stephan Böhm explained, digitalisation also carries risks such as burnout or headaches.
Digitization is not a nightmare
The study, which was commissioned by health insurance company Barmer GEK in cooperation with the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag", states: "There is little correlation between the number of sick days and the degree of digitization of companies".
According to Böhm, digitization is not a nightmare, but could significantly increase emotional exhaustion. Especially when digitization, the fear of job loss and a bad relationship with the boss come together, the pressure on those affected is great.
Technology optimism among younger people
Especially among the younger ones, according to the study, there is a technology optimism. For example, 59 percent of under-30s say technology makes them more productive in their personal lives; For the over-60s only 46 percent think so. On the other hand, boys are more likely 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" at hand. So one should "sensitize employees for the opportunities and dangers of digitization and train self-management skills", such as "digital abstinence from work in free times".
In addition, "managers in terms of requirements and design options for digitization" should be trained. It can also make sense to create flexible working hours and to offer home office opportunities. "See digitization as a great opportunity and not just a threat."
Digital diet for smartphone users
On the occasion of the presentation of the study also urged the Federal Minister of Labor Andrea Nahles (SPD), one must learn to deal with smartphones and other technology - so also put the devices more often once. Scientists are also constantly advocating such a digital diet for mobile phone users.
According to the minister, the economy must allow employees to less rigidly allocate their working time: "I think we can enable more self-determined working time."
Reduce health risks through digital work
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) called for the reduction of health risks through digital work. DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach told the German Press Agency that it needed a policy framework "that allowed for new freedoms while providing adequate protection for health". And the SPD social politician Katja Mast said: "It must not come to the fact that free spaces and recreational opportunities are lost in the free time." (Ad)