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Members guide to stress management, tech overload and work-life balance

Tackle anxiety, burn-out and stress-related conditions

This article explains tech overload, its effects and the tools, services and support Aetna International offers members.

Aetna International’s recent survey, The digital health dilemma: Is technology keeping workers healthy or making them ill? , showed that digital technology in the workplace is a double-edged sword when it comes to its influence on our health and well-being. Tools such as email and project management or collaboration software have enabled us to work remotely for a better work-life balance and conduct international business with ease. They have also given rise to an ‘always-on’ culture that has been shown to be damaging our emotional and mental health.

What does ‘always-on’ culture look like?
  • 70% of respondents admit to checking their phones first thing in the morning for work-related messages, and nearly two-thirds do the same thing right before going to bed.
And what’s its impact?
  • Around 60% of our respondents said that pressures to answer calls and emails outside of work makes them more stressed
  • 56% say that reliance on and overuse of communication platforms and work-related emails increases their stress levels.

If it’s not used responsibly and managed carefully, having access to more tech can mean more stress. Our data shows that employees are struggling to achieve a work-life balance, particularly when working remotely or from home.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

At the time of writing (July 2020) many countries are still in varying states of lockdown, and residents may have endured months of social and physical isolation and home working. This has been possible due to connected tech, but has exacerbated ‘always-on’ behaviours, driving e-Presenteeism, stress and burnout. The COVID-19 pandemic has therefore increased employees’ need for more mental health support.

Employees call for more support

In the report, we also revealed that employees are keen for their employers to help and support a healthy digital culture: 61% believe their employer could help them better manage their mental health through workplace technology. This includes: helping to curb the pressures of ‘always-on’ culture and tech overload, and better management of their physical and mental health.

Employers can help

This latter fact helps to illuminate the pathway forwards. As Simon Miller, Senior Director, Customer Proposition, Aetna International explains: “It’s well within an employer’s control to implement tailored solutions to support the mental and physical well-being of their workforce… It’s important for the company’s culture to reflect healthy policies that help curb the ‘always-on’ phenomenon and empower people to switch off, and for leaders to set the example.”

Many of our respondents already believe their employer supports and helps them tackle technology overload by:

  • Ensuring a minimum number of face-to-face meetings per week (61%)
  • Promoting face-to-face communication in the office rather than via email or a chat tool (57%)
  • Limiting the amount of time spent on work email and phone calls after hours (52%)
  • Ensuring that regular one-on-one check-ins take place and any problems are addressed (64%)
  • Using a workplace technology policy to support employees’ physical and mental health (58%)
  • Establishing a workplace technology policy to curb excessive workload (64%).
How Aetna can help

Aetna International has a range of tools, services and resources to help those who may be suffering from tech overload, stress-management and/or burnout.

Managing stress – Mindfulness-based stress reduction service (AWARE) and eQuoo

Six sessions with an MBSR-trained health and wellness professional to help overcome stress or anxiety. Find out more about AWARE

We also offer members a discount on accessing eQuoo, the emotional fitness game that allows you to have fun while learning the psychological skills needed to manage stress. Login to Health Hub to get your discount on eQuoo.

Combatting burn-out – Wysa (mental well-being app)

Wysa is the confidential and anonymous mental well-being app and service. Through Wysa, all Aetna International members and their employees have free access to 24/7 text-based support designed to help them navigate a range of mental well-being challenges at their own pace. This includes anxiety, stress, motivation and confidence. The app’s AI-driven chat function allows members to ‘chat’ about their mental well-being via text, and can direct them to self-help content and coaching packs that can be used to develop tailored management plans.

Login to your member website to use Wysa now.

Tackling depression – Therapeutic counselling

Advice and guidance provided by a clinical therapist and counsellor – either in person or over the phone. Find out more about therapeutic counselling in our employer assistance programme (EAP) guide.

These and other mental health challenges – myStrength app

myStrength is a collection of highly interactive, personalised online tools that helps empower you to address:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Substance use
  • Chronic pain
  • Trouble sleeping

Login to your member website to access myStrength now.

Physical health challenges – ClassPass and Aetna DNA

Good physical health helps to improve mental health and mood, but committing to a gym, fitness centre or studio can be hard. With ClassPass you can work out at any gym, try any workout and do it all with one app. As physical distancing continues to impact regions around the world, ClassPass also provides access to online fitness classes. From cycling and strength training to yoga, you can try them all; choose any class, anywhere, with one flexible membership.

Login to your member website to get your discount on ClassPass.

Aetna DNA

Aetna DNA isn’t a disease diagnostics tool, but it can help you understand how to tackle specific areas of health and wellness, from nutrition, fitness and stress to sleep. Personalise your health journey with advice tailored to your lifestyle and genetics.

Find out more about Aetna DNA here.

Aetna Well-being

Health Hub — your secure member section — includes Aetna Well-being: various health and well-being resources including the Wysa app (see above), counselling (see above) and discounts on gym membership and apps.

Click here to find out more about Aetna Well-being. Or log in to your member website to access your member offers now.

More from Aetna International

As part of our ongoing digital transformation, Aetna International is making the digital pathway to health easier and more intuitive for its members. This includes making claims, finding and accessing health care, warm handovers between primary health care and well-being services, and much more. Currently, Aetna International offers the following virtual and digital health care and wellness solutions in the many regions in which it operates: 

Primary care


vHealth is the virtual health app that enables users to consult a doctor virtually by phone or computer at any time of the day or night, and from anywhere in the world. It is the convenient service that makes it easy to access personal, affordable, high quality health care.

Find out more about vHealth


This app that enables members to get in touch with many of our employee assistance services directly at the touch of a button. Find out more about iConnectYou in our employer assistance programme (EAP) guide.

Workplace wellness

Employee assistance programme (EAP)

Aetna International’s EAP is a suite of employee benefit programmes. Their aim is to help employees deal with personal and work-related issues that negatively impact their work performance, health and general well-being. This confidential service includes support for other areas such as physical health and life admin. They include:

A concierge-style service available to help source service providers, make travel arrangements, or provide third-party experts. Find out more about work-life services in our employer assistance programme (EAP) guide.

Management development coaching to help team leaders overcome everyday challenges to successfully handle day-to-day situations. Find out more about Management assistance services in our employer assistance programme (EAP) guide.

Remote working advice and support

As our report shows, the 2020 global pandemic is putting added stress on many of us. To help you tackle many of the issues you may face, we have created a remote working resource hub that provides you with advice and guidance on topics from mental and physical health to accessing care remotely, making claims and a COVID-19 FAQ.

Explore the remote working resource hub here

Clinical support and condition management – The care management team

Combining both clinical and logistical expertise, Aetna International's care management team is responsible for ensuring our customers receive high-quality health care solutions wherever they are in the world.

The care management team liaises with members and coordinates the activities of internal staff and care programmes, with external agencies, including hospitals, pharmacies and airlines, to support the treatment needs of members. We want to ensure you always have access to high-quality clinical treatments and ongoing care to support your needs, and the needs of eligible dependant family members.

Read more about the care management team or login to your member website to get in touch with the care management team.

Member website

This is your personalised secure member website, at your fingertips when you need to:

  • Find care
  • Submit and track claims
  • View plan documents
  • …and more.

Log into your member website

Online advice and guides

As well as products and services, we have created a large resource of helpful advice and guides to support you in pursuing your health goals. Explore includes articles and hubs on physical and mental health, from information to step-by-step guides.

Read about:

Browse Explore here

Further reading: Don’t turn off, turn down: Digital detox at work.

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