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Ayca Demiran

Ayca Demiran

Ayca Demiran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Middle East Technical University, Turkiye. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Occupational Psychology at Heriot-Watt University. Alongside her academic career, Ayca has been working in the HR field for more than 15 years with an extensive experience in consumer goods, manufacturing, construction, and for the government in the MENA Region. She has been a Part-Time Teaching Assistant at Heriot-Watt University since 2023. Ayca is passionate about combining literature findings with a professional work environment to create a culture where employees thrive. Her research interests are Workplace Well-being, Leadership, Safety Culture, Psychological Safety, Organizational Development and Workplace Culture.

The importance of Digital Detox on employee well-being and practical suggestions for organizations and employees

This study discusses the negative effects of work-related excessive use of smartphones and digital technologies on human psychology and suggests the benefits of limiting our relationship with these devices to improve employee well-being. The presentation highlights several advantages of disconnecting from digital technologies, including improved mental health (Scott, Valley & Simecka, 2017; Şentürk et al., 2021), increased concentration, improved sleep quality (AlShareef, 2022), decrease in fear of missing out (FOMO) (Elhai et al., 2016), and improvement in work-life balance (Fritz & Sonnentag, 2006; Nam, 2014). The widespread use of smartphones and the constant bombardment of emails, messages, and social media notifications have increased individuals’ stress levels (Mirbabaie, Stieglitz & Marx, 2022). Multitasking and excessive digital stimulation overload the brain, triggering stress hormones. However, individuals who undergo digital detox by limiting their use of digital technology experience decreased stress levels over time, leading to improved concentration, relationships, and job performance (Scott, Valley & Simecka, 2017). Additionally, excessive use of phones and computers, mainly before sleep, negatively affects sleep quality (AlShareef, 2022). Checking messages and e-mails before sleeping and immediately after waking up disrupts the brain's circadian rhythm, leading to insomnia and frequent awakenings at night. Setting limits on checking emails and messages in bed improves sleep quality and improves sleep patterns. This presentation also emphasizes the positive changes in family and social relationships (work-life balance) when people set boundaries with digital technologies (Nam, 2014). The fear of missing out (FOMO) is another negative consequence of excessive digital technology use. The constant need to be online and check emails outside of working hours creates anxiety and affects work-life balance. However, individuals who limit their mobile technology usage report decreased FOMO and increased life satisfaction.(Elhai et al., 2016).
The study concludes by discussing the responsibilities of organizations in defining boundaries for work-related communication and technology usage outside of working hours. It suggests that employees should have the autonomy to determine their flexible working hours and the employers should encourage offline physical meetings, which increase engagement and motivation among employees (Roghanizad & Bohns, 2017). Additionally, organizations should encourage employees to take vacations to enhance productivity and well-being (Fritz & Sonnentag, 2006). Finally, the organizations define and limit flexible work hours to improve employee satisfaction, stress levels, and productivity (Edvinsson et al., 2023).

AlShareef, S.M. (2022) 'The impact of bedtime technology use on sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness in adults', Sleep science (São Paulo, SP ), 15(Spec 2), pp. 318-327.
Edvinsson, J., Mathiassen, S.E., Bjärntoft, S., Jahncke, H., Hartig, T. and Hallman, D.M. (2023) 'A Work Time Control Tradeoff in Flexible Work: Competitive Pathways to Need for Recovery', International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(1), p. 691.
Elhai, J.D., Levine, J.C., Dvorak, R.D. and Hall, B.J. (2016) 'Fear of missing out, need for touch, anxiety and depression are related to problematic smartphone use', Computers in human behavior, 63, pp. 509-516.
Fritz, C. and Sonnentag, S. (2006) 'Recovery, Well-Being, and Performance-Related Outcomes: The Role of Workload and Vacation Experiences', Journal of applied psychology, 91(4), pp. 936-945.
Mirbabaie, M., Stieglitz, S. and Marx, J. (2022) 'Digital Detox', Business & Information Systems Engineering, 64(2), pp. 239-246.
Nam, T. (2014) 'Technology Use and Work-Life Balance', Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9(4), pp. 1017-1040.

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