Keywords: Wellbeing, need satisfaction, workplace experience, burnout, stress, resilience
We ask the question: Which in-workplace technologies actually support employee health and well-being in concrete and impactful ways, and which technology does not?” We focus on how technology can support health and well-being in general and in particular, reduce the likelihood of employee burnout. Our assessment based on criteria derived from studies showing that basic human need satisfaction underlies health, well-being, and productivity (Maslach & Banks, 2017; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ayoko & Ashkanasy, 2020) and can build resilience to burnout (Maslach & Leiter, in press). Extensive literature within the fields of environmental psychology, occupational health psychology, and industrial- organizational psychology provides a structure to link forms of technology, the design of physical work environments, and fundamental organizational forces to well-being. These literatures have in common a core framework grounded in the importance of satisfying human needs: when basic needs are satisfied, stress is reduced, health and well-being is supported, and productivity is improved through greater focus, intrinsic motivation, and physical capability. We identify seven needs that are most relevant to the world of work: (1) autonomy; (2) social belonging; (3) competence/mastery; (4) physical and psychological safety; (5) meaning and purpose; and (6) positive emotions (Maslach and Banks, 2017), and evaluate five different forms of work-related technology regarding their potential for supporting need satisfaction and burnout suppression: (1) EQ controls; (2) Occupancy; (3) Personal Status; (4) Communications; and (5) Self-Help. We present a framework to inform the development of technology to encourage supportive in-workplace experience.