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2019 workplace trends: apps that score employees' mental health

So much for faking it until you make it, because emerging apps could let you gauge your current mental state at work!

Of course, mental health apps have been around for awhile now, and they are busy helping employees manage what they're feeling. Some employees are benefiting greatly from advice that, in some cases, is coming from robots.

But what about getting a personalized mental health score? Well, there are apps for that now, too. As reports:

Total Brain markets itself as a way for employees to train their brain to track and reduce stress. It starts by giving employees a 20-minute assessment of their mental health. The assessment includes a combination of tasks and questions that measure things like memory, focus and decision-making. There also are screening tests related to mental conditions.

After being assessed for their emotions, feelings, cognition and self-control, employees who take the test are given a percentile score. Then they can select a 15-minute daily "custom brain training program" for reducing stress, improving focus or memory, and so on.

If the app concludes that an employee might need additional mental help, then the employee is referred to an EAP or licensed professional for further analysis.

Fitbit For the Brain
I can see a few benefits here. Mental health in the modern workplace is a big issue. The times we're living through can be incredibly stressful. These assessment apps could offer a window into employees' emotional wellness at work. If an employee is completely stressed out and anxious, for example, then a caring employer could work with the employee to lower his or her stress level on the job. That's a good thing.


On the other hand, such apps raise employee privacy issues. Who will get to see (and own) the information that's collected? What if an employee's score indicates that she's anxious, but she doesn't feel that way (and therefore does not act on the results)? Or worse: what if a manager of the future wants to fire an employee based on their score?

I'm just throwing out a few of my own questions, and I don't know the answers. If such apps can provide a ray of light to employees who are quietly suffering, however, then I'm all for it. We all deserve to feel happy, healthy and productive in life. I just hope we have a handle on the potential privacy issues involved, too.


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