Home ‘The Fitbit of Corporate America:’ ‘Pulse’ app addresses workplace stress

‘The Fitbit of Corporate America:’ ‘Pulse’ app addresses workplace stress

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Despite more work-from-home jobs, workplace stress is on the rise.

Amidst stress, sadness and worry, American careers are suffering with consequences that can affect productivity, efficiency and morale.

“Pulse,” a new mobile application by Fierce Inc., is working to refine and redefine workplace culture, according to a press release. “Pulse” addresses stressors in our work environment with the help of artificial intelligence, combats toxic culture and improves employee wellbeing.

“Beyond the increasingly tumultuous economic, political, supply chain — and other macro — issues companies and its employees are grappling with, handheld technologies and better equipped home, remote and on-site offices have made people more readily accessible — all resulting in greater demands for work participation and productivity,” Dr. Gabe De La Rosa, Chief Behavioral Science Officer for Fierce Inc., said in a press release. “Uptime or ‘on time’ expectations are contributing to higher stress levels as downtime — that is the time to relax, enjoy family and friends and explore hobbies that might help to moderate those stress levels — continues to shrink. The toll for that is being paid on multiple fronts — emotional, psychological, physical, operational and fiscal.”

Workplace stress has proven to severely affect employee productivity, efficiency and morale, the press release stated. In a post-pandemic world, employees and companies are struggling to adapt to changing needs. In the meantime, hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue are lost. One cost-of-illness study estimated that “the cost of work-related stress ranged from $221 million to upward of $187 billion.” An analysis by the American Institute of Stress found that when factors such as absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, increased medical costs and increased legal costs are considered, the total economic impact of stress to U.S. employers was estimated at $300 billion.

After 20 years of challenging companies and business leaders to discuss the importance of transparency in the work culture, Fierce Inc. brings the “Pulse” app, affectionately called “The Fitbit of Corporate America” to employees. “‘Pulse” strives to build a mentally fit workforce and shore up financial fitness in kind,” according to the press release. The app will be available in September 2022, and early registration is available now. Results so far of the app include 14 percent decrease in anxiety, 10 percent decrease in stress, 8 percent decrease in burnout among employees and 11 percent increase in resilience.

With Stress and Heart Rate Variability, Pulse objectively measures stress, categorizes it, and ties it to specific times and events to identify an employee’s cause of stress. The application has specific mediation for stressors, biometric analysis to increase self-awareness, interactive artificial intelligence bot to guide employees through stress, optional coaching support, integration with today’s top wearable devices and integration with calendar and GPS to pinpoint stress origin.

“Companies should have a proactive communication strategy to help address and alleviate staff stress and anxiety and the tools to help facilitate those goals,” De la Rosa said in the press release. “Solutions like Pulse can help create cultures eliminating the gap between what people feel and what they say in workplace conversations, which is at the center of what drives a lack of mental and emotional health. Leaders that help their groups eliminate this gap produce higher performing company cultures. When employees feel safe to truly show up as they are, they can invest more of themselves into their work roles. While stress has always been a cause of operational unease, the ensuing pandemic has raised the stakes far higher. It has exacerbated concerns far beyond the health realm — a reality that can have grave consequences for individual businesses and industries at large.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.