Amid turbulence across regions and markets, employee morale is unstable.
TechTalent.ca has actively reported on several of the factors at play, from the shift to remote work and wariness surrounding recent layoffs to an ongoing global economic downshift afflicting supply chains, labour pools, and more.
But that still is not everything.
Today humans consume far more information on a daily basis than our ancestors could have even imagined—and our unadapted brains are struggling to cope now more than ever, emerging evidence suggests.
Vancouver-born communications agency Talk Shop Media recently released its “Media Impact Report,” which was “conducted to better understand on the ways Canadians access and consume information.”
The report notes multiple recent shifts in lifestyle that have resulted in Canadians accessing more—perhaps too much—information.
One is that the vast majority of Canadians have a smartphone in hand and are consuming content on their personal devices frequently. Newspapers were read once in the morning, a news show was watched once in the evening—now we check in whenever we have a few seconds to spare.
Another shift is a rising hunger for headlines: more than half of Canadians have increased news consumption since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Basically, there is more news than ever, and humans are compelled to consume it all lest they experience the Fear of Missing Out.
But is all this constant consumption of excess info healthy? Likely not, especially when we consider two-thirds of Canadians are skeptical about the information they consume, and that many “feeling global news take a toll on their mental health.”
That’s a lot of stress on the brain with limited upside.
According to data from Statistics Canada released in August, Canadians have experienced declining mental health since the onset of the pandemic. That’s when the doom-and-gloom picked up. Sensationalist and fear-mongering headlines may score clicks but negative news cycles have contributed to a downslide in wellbeing.
For example, “the press cycle has been overloaded with announcement after announcement about mass layoffs, especially within the technology sector,” Visier’s Vice President of People Analytics, Ian Cook, noted for TechTalent.ca recently.
For every report on layoffs, TechTalent.ca makes sure to highlight even more companies who are growing and hiring.
But not all news is balanced. As a result, close to half of Canadians who consume news claim that it affects their daily life, the Media Impact report shows. Is that worse than FOMO?
Another factor is that much “news” comes through social media now, that platforms of which are often designed to be addictive and have been showing to negatively impact mental wellbeing, according to studies.
“About half of Canadians report consuming news and information from social media platforms,” the report states, noting it is more prevalent amongst younger Canadians, with two-thirds of those ages 18-34 using it to find news and information.
“While the world around us continues to evolve, one thing is certain— Canadians are dialled in and an evolution is underway as to how information is consumed,” the report concludes.
Recognizing the currently fragility of much of the broader workforce, employers increasingly demonstrate how they care about the health of their workers and are actively seeking out ways to make work life better.
Of course, we should also be mindful as employees of what affects our mental state positively versus negatively. Talent should avoid consuming news while working to optimize morale and productivity, for example.
We can always find something bad in the world to complain about, but why bother when we know there is ample opportunity in Canada? Focus on the good news.