About the study

How do I participate in the study?

To participate you need to:

  1. Email research@howatthr.com with an "I'm in for Hugr" in the subject line
  2. Once the study commences, you'll receive a baseline survey  to complete (this will take you 5 minutes)
  3. Upon completion of the survey and app launch, you'll receive access to the full version of Hugr Authentic Connections app to download and start using.

That's it!

What are the goals of the study? 

The purpose of the study is to help interested organizations support their employees to address social isolation, which is a known and ongoing consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will examine the impact of a new digital app, called Hugr Authentic Connections, in building authentic social connections. Hugr Authentic Connections is an app that you can download onto your smartphone. It is designed to support employees by removing isolation barriers, closing social connection gaps, and building and maintaining authentic connections in and outside of the workplace. The results of the study will also be disseminated to the public as well as through academic forums (e.g., conferences, academic journals).


What does participation/involvement in the study mean?

The study is being conducted online. The study will take a maximum of 6 months to complete. The time commitment for employees is to complete pre-, mid- and post-online surveys (when they join, 3 months after joining, at the end of the study in early July 2021) that take roughly 20 minutes each and to use the Hugr app at their discretion for a minimum of 3 months.


If I join the study and decide it’s not for me – can I opt-out?

You are free to withdraw from the research study at any time without penalty. If you decide to withdraw from the study, you can stop sharing your data by changing your settings or by deleting your data. If at any point, you are interested in withdrawing from the study, please inform the research team of your desire to do so. 


Is there a cost to me as a participant in the Hugr Authentic Connections study? 

The downloadable Hugr Authentic Connections app is free of charge for participants of the study.


How long is my participation required? 

Your participation is required for up to 6 months. 


If I like the Hugr Authentic Connections application, am I able to continue using it – as a participant of the study – after the study has been completed?

After the study has been completed, you can continue to use the Hugr Authentic Connections app, free of charge, until there is a substantial revision to the app.


Does my employer have access to any of my personal/confidential information through my participation in the study?

Your employer will not know if you are participating and will not receive any personal or confidential information about your participation. At the end of the study, a summary of the results based on aggregated data will be emailed to all participating companies and employees. No individual data will be presented. 


Who do I contact if I have issues/concerns with the study?

If you are interested in getting more information about this study, please contact the lead researcher Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley at Dayna.Lee-Baggley@smu.ca or the research coordinator at Howatt HR Consulting at research@howatthr.com.  


About the application


How does the Hugr app work?

Hugr Authentic Connections is an evidence-based mental wellness program designed to support your journey to create and keep healthy social connections.

Hugr Authentic Connections is a mental wellness app designed to help people feel connected. The self-guided digital program can help users measure their level of social connection, discover how to build and maintain authentic connections, and regularly share how they're feeling with those closest to them.


What is the purpose of the Hugr app?

Hugr Authentic Connections is a digital prevention tool designed to support employees in removing isolation barriers, closing social connection gaps, and building and maintaining authentic connections in and outside of the workplace. Users are able to view correlations in their social connection charge, experience at work, loneliness, isolation, and anxiety.


Is the Hugr app confidential?

Privacy and confidentiality is incredibly important to the Hugr team, and we continually strive to protect our users. To ensure confidentiality for our users, we comply with Canadian privacy laws, PIPEDA, GDPR, and COPPA. By following these laws and guidelines, we are able to provide the safest experience for all of our users and their data. All user data is securely synced and stored encrypted on secure servers in Canada. Any data that is shared is displayed only anonymously in an aggregate manner. To read the full Hugr Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions please refer to: https://hugr.ca/en/privacy.  


Who do I contact if I have issues/concerns with the Hugr application?  

Any technical or customer support questions can be directed to Hugr Customer Support at support@hugr.ca.