'Keep it personal' to improve employee wellbeing

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Email is not always the best way for staff members to interact

Small business operators may feel that the rise of new technologies is something that can only bring benefits to their firm, but with a greater reliance on new systems comes the potential for a larger disconnect between employees.

This is the warning of David Price, managing director of Health Assured, who told smallbusiness.co.uk that many companies are now taking the issue of 'email overload' extremely seriously, with some even taking the step of placing a blanket ban on email communication within their business.

The idea that busy people do not have the time for face-to-face interaction is one that has grown in prevalence during recent years. However, if this is the case, there needs to be a serious debate over the implications for companies in terms of excessive workloads and, potentially even more damaging, staff morale.

Facing up to the problem is the first place to start for many companies, as the difficult economic climate of recent years has in many cases seen businesses expecting more of their staff, without necessarily giving them the bump in pay and recognition that they then deserve.

This upturn in expectations has therefore also led to many employees being swamped with an abundance of emails, but it is a situation that business leaders with their finger on the pulse can do something to address.

Relieving staff of the formalities of email and helping individuals to come together more often and discuss issues face-to-face could therefore be a good way to redress the balance and to help to deliver better connection between workers, departments and ultimately businesses as a whole.

Mr Price concluded: "Technology has many benefits to businesses and is continuously growing and developing. However, in order to stop employees becoming fraught with despair at the number of emails in their inbox, a balance between electronic and traditional communication is needed.

"Abandoning all use of emails is impractical to say the least, but monitoring the degree to which it is used and refraining from its sole use will undoubtedly be advantageous to the health and happiness of colleagues and their employers."