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Digitization at work - risk or opportunity for health?
Germany is in constant stress: According to surveys, every second German citizen is stressed. The increasing digitization of the world of work and constant availability at work are largely responsible for this. It also has an impact on health.
Overworked and burned out
With regard to the flexibility of companies and their employees, digitization offers a great opportunity. Modern technologies allow for spatially distributed work and can reduce psychological strain on employees. However, results from a survey by the umbrella organization of company health insurance funds (BKK) also show that one in five feels overworked or burned out by digitalization.
Stress on family life and health
Already in an older study entitled "Effects of digitization of work on the health of employees", for which more than 8,000 German workers were interviewed, it was shown that increasing digitization is putting a strain on family life and health.
Other studies have shown that constant availability can lead to health problems, reports the BKK Melitta Plus in a message.
Emotional exhaustion, poor sleep quality, mental health problems as well as back and neck pain are considered to be consequences of constant accessibility.
A result from the BKK Health Report 2017 "Digital Work - Digital Health" shows that in 2016, mentally ill people stayed an average of 38.8 days away from work.
Due to the constantly increasing digitization, experts expect a further increase in mental illnesses in the next few years.
In addition, the duration of incapacity to work is significantly longer for mental illnesses than for other illnesses (diseases of the musculoskeletal system: 19.9 days of incapacity for work in 2016).
Digitization as an opportunity in the world of work
The world of work is facing ever greater challenges due to digitization and demographic change.
So that companies and employees can take advantage of digitalization, the risk assessment of psychological stress is of considerable importance.
Employers have a duty of care to effectively contain the described negative consequences of digitalization and constant accessibility, without restricting the positive potential at the same time.
This requires individual prevention concepts for different types and sizes of company. (ad)