Smart Technology - Smart Work - Smart Life: Ways out of Digital Depression
What we do and how we feel, as well as the way we present ourselves and behave toward others: increasingly, this behaviour is characterised by the rules prescribed by smart technologies - these include software and communication technologies at the workplace as well as the smartphone as our constant companion at work and in our private life. The digital companions open up a world of possibilities and opportunities that we can no longer imagine modern-day occupational fields without. This starts with the automation of workflow sequences, right up to mobile working at any location and also constant networking and presentation via social media, as components of a successful business strategy.
Also arising from this are new questions regarding workplace design and everyday life: how are people's sense of achievement and feeling of well-being changing in a working environment in which tasks that used to be significant for people are increasingly being performed by machines? To which extent is the liberty of being able to work around the clock and from every imaginable location actually liberating? At which point does constant availability and the possibility of also being able to read emails at the weekend simultaneously create a feeling of not being free? Which contribution can managers and employees make in this situation to provide a psychological sense of well-being? Apart from being trained in media competence in the technical sense of the word, is training also needed from a psychological perspective? How can technology be deployed to ensure that it does people good?
What is more, there often is a feeling of uncertainty and disagreement as to what is appropriate with reference to the handling of smartphones and co., or the question of "mobile etiquette" is not consciously considered. For instance, does "in a meeting" mean that the full concentration is on the meeting - or is the parallel processing of mails permitted or possibly even expected?
Thus, both individuals and organisations are faced with the challenge of finding the right balance between utilising the potential offered by digitalisation and dysfunctional absorption. At the same time, the challenges to satisfy the complex requirements posed by the job are constantly growing - and as a result, so is the responsibility to create an environment in which people feel good.
In an expert discussion, Prof Diefenbach talks about starting points for creating a digital corporate culture, with reflection going beyond the own dealings with technology, to possible symptoms and solution processes pointing the way out of "Digital Depression".