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Flipping the Switch on Workplace Distractions

March 29, 2016 / Employee Experience

technology distracts employees at workA version of this post originally appeared on Virgin.com.

We hear it all the time. Technology is a distraction. It’s part of the problem. It’s the culprit as to why employees are disengaged at work and living unhealthy lives.

It’s true, too. Technology can be detrimental to people’s wellbeing and to that of the businesses for which they work.

And yet at Virgin Pulse, we take that same addictive technology and use it as the solution to help people become addicted to making healthy decisions and sustainable life changes. As a result, we give employees the tools to be more productive and drive better outcomes for businesses around the world.

Virgin Pulse, ShapeUp and Global Corporate Challenge united to create a global force for good

It’s a big idea. People’s productivity is directly linked to different aspects of their wellbeing – what they eat, how active they are, how stressed they are at work and at home. As employees, what people bring to work in terms of focus, drive and productivity is largely connected to how healthy they are. And because of this, CEOs in today’s world have to care about the overall health of each and every person who works for them.

Virgin Pulse is in a unique position to lead this charge and transform the way technology influences businesses and the way people live and work.

How do we do it?

Focus on Healthy Habits

Tracking steps. Trying new recipes. Setting weight-loss goals. Our platform is designed around habit formation and behavior change. We drive billions of habit-building interactions – eight times more than any other product on the market – with the goal of helping people make small changes that can positively impact their health. We know that with better, healthier habits come big, lasting results.

Drive with Data

Virgin Pulse uses analytics to help organizations realize their full potential while also helping individuals establish healthier relationships with technology. For instance, suppose a company’s data shows their employees have difficulty unplugging from work devices. We can can create challenges that encourage and incentivize their employees to disengage from work email after hours or on weekends. That’s a novel concept. To be able to personalize the experience and encourage behaviors that lead to greater productivity and tie with corporate goals is a powerful tool.

Eyes on the Horizon

As the way people work continues to evolve, so too must the ways in which we support them. We continue to anticipate and respond to changes by launching new products and features, such as Virgin Pulse Hub, which weaves together all of an organization’s benefits programs on one single platform and delivers personalized recommendations based on the individual user.

Virgin Pulse also recently launched an app specifically for the Apple Watch. This was a logical unity for us as we see our program evolving in similar ways as this product. The Apple Watch is a personal productivity tool, offering the potential to help employees do their jobs and live their lives better. It encompasses our vision of serving people holistically. We’ve been able to work with some of our clients on early integration and there’s so much potential that’s not even realized yet. It’s a great example of how technology can be the solution that drives productivity.

The Virgin Pulse app for Apple Watch is here. And it’s spectacular. Click here to learn more about the new app and register for a chance to win an Apple Watch.


Ron Hildebrandt brings over 13 years’ experience building and marketing SaaS software products that improve employee productivity and wellbeing. As SVP, Products, Ron is responsible for the product strategy and delivery of Virgin Pulse’s enterprise wellness products, including its SaaS portal, mobile apps, and personal tracking devices. Ron is passionate about increasing the competitiveness of companies by improving the brainpower and the health of their employees. Ron has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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