As an IT specialist, it will not surprise you that many cyberattacks rely on human error rather than software security. People may be aware of the best digital hygiene practices, but when they get tired and have trouble focusing, all that knowledge may go to waste. How can we change that? Educate your colleagues on both digital security and digital well-being to support their physical as well as mental health.
The goal of digital hygiene is to help people find a balance between being online and offline. Without functional digital hygiene, we can lose attention, or even develop some health problems. Adopting digital wellness practices can enable employees to focus on their work and prevent potential exhaustion and distraction.
Digital well-being according to tech giants
Even Google and Apple are already working on making their services and products helpful for their users. Google started to focus on digital well-being in 2018 when the company introduced an Android feature that monitors the time users spend on individual apps. Google has also come up with a set of digital well-being Experiments tools. The goal is clear – these tools should give users feedback on how much time they spend on their devices and help them reduce it. Apple’s features are similar, helping users, for instance, effectively decrease social media usage on their iPhones.
Why should you educate your team about digital hygiene as an IT manager?
As mentioned above, digital well-being is related to the use of digital technologies, which, if handled incorrectly, can also negatively affect cybersecurity. As someone who understands digital technology, you are the right person to educate your colleagues on the best digital hygiene practices. You can, for example, organise a training session, recommend a webinar, or provide them with a document with the following tips.
How to feel better while working in a digital environment? Here are some tips.
1. Notifications off, attention on.
Notifications can make it difficult for users to focus on their work. Even if people try to ignore them, seeing new notifications popping up can be distracting. Especially for activities that require deeper concentration, people need to create a quiet space for themselves. Advise your team on how to set up a do-not-disturb mode for apps and extend this recommendation to communication channels.
Constant email management causes more stress than simply checking your incoming messages only three times a day. Still, don’t forget to advise your team to schedule blocks for deep work in their calendars to let others know that they will respond to messages later.
2. Make it easier for colleagues to communicate.
Introduce one rule: communicate less elaborately, but more effectively. Especially useful for internal communications, it’s worth considering the use of platforms such as Teams or Slack. Why? They are designed to be less time-consuming, highly efficient, and more interactive than email, especially because email communication is among the biggest consumers of time and attention.
3. Keep digital order.
Similarly to the physical environment, our digital world can sometimes get cluttered and messy. Have you ever noticed that your colleagues have a lot of unorganised apps and documents on their devices? Encourage them to organise their folders regularly, or even set a recurring notification to remind them of the importance of having a clean digital space.
4. The ergonomics matter.
When you supply your team with IT equipment, don’t forget to also provide instructions on how to use it properly. Having an ergonomically healthy environment will help them feel less digitally absorbed.
For example, the distance between a user’s head and a monitor should be about 50 centimetres (20 inches), but it also depends on the size of the screen or the desk layout. The screen should not be opposite a window, but neither should it be directly illuminated by the sun. In the evening, it’s great to use a blue light filter. As for the cervical spine, it can be relieved by an ergonomic laptop stand.
5. Show your team the benefits of various apps.
Digital well-being does not mean rejecting technology or the digital world. It is about finding a balance – and some apps can help people do just that. For example, there are applications that can tell us how much time we have spent sitting in front of a screen. This gives users a better idea of when it’s time to take a break, go for a short walk, or stretch their bodies.