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New Wristband Alerts Your Boss If You’re Unhappy

by : Hannah Smith on : 19 Jan 2021 11:13
New Wristband Alerts Your Boss If You're UnhappyMoodbeam

Normally, if you’re having a bad time at work your options are limited to sending passive aggressive emails, complaining in the break room, or ranting about the problem when you get home.

But a new device has come up with an alternative way to make it clear that you’re unhappy, by allowing bosses to track their employees’ emotional state.

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‘Moodbeam’ is a Fitbit-style wristband that lets wearers log whether they’re happy or unhappy, and is designed to help employers monitor how their staff are coping with working from home. The wristbands, which are linked to a mobile app, have two buttons, with users pressing the yellow button if they’re happy, and the blue button if they’re unhappy.

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The device’s creators say they envisioned the gadget as a simple way for employers to check how their team is doing at a time when you can’t just pop your head round the door to someone’s office.

Founder Christina Colmer McHugh told the BBC that as attitudes towards mental wellness improve, ‘businesses are trying to get on top of staying connected with staff working from home. The idea behind Moodbeam is that now ‘they can ask 500 members: ‘You ok?’ without picking up the phone’.

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Colmer McHugh, from Hull, said that she initially came up with the idea as a way for her daughter to let her know when she was unhappy at school, before launching the wristband commercially in 2016. The devices are also available individually for people looking for a simple way to monitor their own emotional wellbeing.

Moodbeam

Although there has been a huge improvement in awareness and understanding of mental health issues over recent years, studies have found that lockdown has taken a massive toll on our collective mental wellbeing. Mind reports that 60% of adults said their mental health has got worse during the pandemic, with many not wanting to speak up about their problems because they feel that other people need help more than they do.

And while some of us might be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of letting our boss know that we’re struggling, apparently Moodbeam has found that the simple yet personalised nature of the devices has allowed employers to step in and help in situations where ordinarily they would have no way of knowing anything was wrong.

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Paddy Burtt, who’s charity Brave Mind gave wristbands to its staff, said that thanks to the device, they noticed that ‘one member of the team was in an uncomfortable place, struggling with a huge workload, and disillusioned with what was going on’, adding that because the team member ordinarily wouldn’t have spoken up about the issue, ‘we wouldn’t have known about it unless we had seen the data’.

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Topics: Technology, Mental Health, Now