Living online: the long-term impact on wellbeing

They are particularly interested in:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Social interaction
  • Quality of working life.

The IET will respond to various issues within the consultation. The IET aims to answer the following questions:

Physical health

  • How will any long-term trend towards an increased reliance on digital technology in our everyday lives affect our physical health?
  • What steps can be taken to mitigate any negative consequences for physical activity and fitness? And what opportunities does digital technology offer to increase levels of physical activity and improve physical health?

Mental health

  • How will any long-term trend towards an increased reliance on digital technology affect mental health?
  • What role could digital technology play in increasing awareness, and early treatment of, mental health issues?
  • Does an increase in reliance on digital technology provide an opportunity to offer innovative treatments for mental health conditions? Is it also an opportunity to reach those who would usually be unwilling or unable to seek medical advice and support?

Social interaction

  • What steps need to be taken to ensure that this does not lead to a long-term increase in loneliness, isolation and mental health issues?


  • How will any long-term trend towards an increased reliance on digital technology affect job opportunities and working conditions? What sectors are likely to see the biggest changes? What impact might these changes have on job satisfaction?
  • Do workers have the digital skills that will be needed as jobs change? What additional training is required to ensure that the workforce is equipped with digital skills?
  • To what extent could home-working enable access to job opportunities for people currently excluded from the workplace (or from certain jobs)?

Ownership of digital technology

  • Should digital technology companies have a duty to consider their users’ wellbeing? If so, what would that duty consist of and how would it be regulated?

The Institution of Engineering and Technology Trustees propose submitting a response to this consultation and invite comments from Members who have expertise in this area and have studied the consultation documents. In its capacity as a professional body, the IET will confine itself to only addressing those questions that are within its area(s) of competence.

For more information and a summary of the questions, please refer to the consultation webpage or our website.

Please note:  The House of Lords COVID-19 Committee has granted the IET an extension into January 2021 to respond to its inquiry.

Please respond no later than 9am 20th January 2021 to Duncan Kenyon, with "Living online: the long-term impact on wellbeing" in the subject line