At knowledge-intensive workplaces, the risk of people becoming stressed is higher, since the brain more often works overtime. We have interviewed Tobias Brask, Co-Founder of KOMPIS, who explains how to avoid overworking the brain and how technology is a successful tool in this process.
“It is a paradox that the more knowledge-intensive and complex the work becomes, the more the brain needs mental breaks to perform at its best“, says Tobias Brask. He is the Co-Founder of KOMPIS, a health-tech company that offers solutions to effectively strengthen the mental and physical balance of people at work.
In today’s workplace, the brain often gets into situations where it has to work overtime. To make things more difficult, the brain struggles to send clear signals when it needs to recover. If we compare it to physical work or sports, we can easily feel, when we have had enough and need to rest. But the same does not apply when our brain needs a break.
“There is danger in this“, Tobias says, “for people may not notice if their brain is overworked, and continuous mental overload can have serious complications such as mental stress.”
When stressed, the brain starts to react in inconvenient ways. Consequences may be that we make more mistakes, are less socially present and active, and that it is harder for us to stay focused for longer periods of time, which lessens our ability for in-depth work. This essentially means that less work is done and more hours might put in to compensate, creating a downward spiral.
How does KOMPIS help to solve these challenges?
Studies from the Danish National Research Centre for the Working Environment give a very clear answer on how to reduce brain overload. Tobias: “It is all about taking small breaks during a busy workday. ‘Mikro-resting’ is the most efficient way to de-stressing the brain, and we at KOMPIS have based our methods on this research.“
KOMPIS means ‘friend’ in Swedish, which is what the KOMPIS app is. A digital friend that suggests exercises to rest the brain and activate the body during the day. By answering a few questions each user gets a tailored exercise programme that recommends how and when to take small breaks during the day.
“It helps people feel less stressed over time, and our solution has been used successfully at KMD where it reduced employees feeling stressed with 29%“, Tobias proudly explains.
How can technology in general contribute to improving mental health?
According to Tobias, technology has seen a very positive development and is now highly capable of facilitating supporting tools for mental health.
“One reason is that technology can very easily be personalised to fit the individual, and that has a very positive effect.” KOMPIS has had particular success with the adaptability of their app to each user, and their most frequent users are people, who often experience stress.
“A second reason is the very low access barrier for people to find and use tech solutions that actually work. It does not require much to be introduced to tools such as meditation, you only need a headset. You can get started in a few minutes and quickly feel if it has made a difference“, Tobias says.
At Simply Broken we also see a tendency in society towards people being more open to talk about and proactively work with their mental health. This openness coupled with obtaining access to the right tools and help for the individual make us strongly believe that it is possible to reduce today’s mental health challenges.
By digitally reproducing a scientific method for stress-reduction and making it usable in a busy working day, KOMPIS is a great example of the success that can be achieved when connecting science and technology.