Workplace wellness programs are based on the assumption that healthy initiatives at work will improve employee health and productivity. But rarely (if ever!) do they acknowledge the fact that work itself is often the main health enemy. Well, now a new app (for employee smartphones) identifies shifts in their stress levels (from changes in their tone of voice to sleep quality) – to stop stress before it gets out of hand.


By Thierry Malleret, Economist and Founder, Monthly Barometer

A new app is turning the conventional causal relationship between wellness and work on its head by focusing on not making their employees sick rather than compelling them to be “well”.

All workplace wellness programs are based upon the assumption that wellness favourably affects productivity and absenteeism, but rarely (if ever!) mention the fact that the reverse can equally be true: work can be very bad for wellness. Soma Analytics, a new start-up that is an app for employees’ smartphones, provides employers with a diagnostic tool that aims to identify shifts in their stress levels, from changes in tone of voice to the quality of sleep.

The employer does not receive individualised data but can see whether a team or a particular division of the company is getting stressed out by working too hard. It can thus address the issue of stress before it gets out of hand.

Concerns about “Big Brother” invading our professional lives will inevitably arise, but such developments are destined to become more prevalent.

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