People’s Experience of Accessing WorkGuru: Our latest Research

A recent study by Stephany Carolan our founder and a doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex was looking at the experience of people that use WorkGuru, our online stress management program. The study was co-authored by Dr Richard de Visser and was published in a peer review journal. It focused on what helped people to engage with digital mental health in the workplace and what prevented them from engaging. Stephany and Richard interviewed 18 people who had taken part in a previous randomised controlled trail. Everyone in the study had the opportunity to access WorkGuru for 8-weeks.

The study reported that people who used WorkGuru loved that it was convenient and flexible; they could use it at a time that was convenient for them. But, within a work environment, when there were competing pressures on their time they also felt that they had to exercise self-discipline to make sure that they set time aside to use the program. Part of the convenience that some people loved was that they could use the digital program without having to go out for an appointment. As well as the convenience of time another advantage of this was that it made WorkGuru more confidential; their work colleagues didn’t see them leaving to attend appointments during the working day in the way that they would have done if they were going to a face-to-face appointment with a therapist or attending training. For some people the downside of accessing digital health interventions at their desk was that they found it hard shifting from ‘work-mode’ to ‘me-mode’ and back again. Other people saw it as an advantage as it meant that they could take time out of a stressful situation to focus on themselves.

People who used WorkGuru reported that they liked that the program was interactive; it had exercises and questionnaires that they could complete. They also liked the way it was presented: they could monitor their progress as they worked through the modules, and there were prompts to help remind them to logon to the program; these included messages from the WorkGuru coach, opt-in automated emails, and the Monday Morning Message email which gave advice on workplace mental health and motivational quotations.

The study concluded that digital mental health has an important role in delivering health care support to employees in the workplace and that for many people it may help them to access support, which they may not have done if they had to attend a face-to-face appointment or speak to their general practitioner (GP). Employers have an important role in promoting these interventions to their workforce and encouraging them to find a private space and to prioritise the time to make the most out of digital health programs such as WorkGuru.

You can read the full study here.

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