The impact of technology on work related stress affects workers in almost every type of job.
Technology at Work
Regardless of where you work and your job description chances are your job involves some type of technology. In many job situations the use of technology is obvious. Computers are in every office as workers connect to the Internet to conduct business or connect to their interoffice network to connect a coworker in the next room. Workers away from their desks or offices have their Blackberries in hand even on their days off, just in case a message arrives that needs immediate attention.
Just as there are many situations where technology and technological gadgets are evident in the workplace, there are many more workplace situations where the use of technology is not seen, yet it is always present. For instance, technological advances allow companies to keep track of the amount of work each person on a production line completes. Even the smiling clerk in your local supermarket is constantly monitored by technology as she scans your groceries to make sure she meets her required daily quota of customers.
Technology is everywhere and it is increasing at lighting speed. With technology, and its continual advancements, workers are faced with an increase in work related stress.
The Impact of Technology on Work Related Stress
As workers constantly try to cope with the everyday stress at work they are often confronted with additional stress from the effects of technology and technology related responsibilities on their job.
- Many workers are continually expected to perform more work in less time as the world seems to spin faster each day.
- Employees are expected to keep up with changes in systems, programs and methods without being trained or even shown how the new technologies work.
- As technology in the workplace keeps evolving, workers feel as if they are constantly trying to adapt to the new methods and skills. When workers are trained in the new technologies, they often feel more frustration and stress at having to take the time from their work responsibilities for retraining.
- Many workers worry that technological advances will eliminate their job positions.
- Workers worry about computer crashers causing them to lose work documents and research.
- Workers spend less time interacting with other workers throughout the day. In reality, there is significantly less human interaction on all levels. Emails, voice mails, text messaging and video conferencing make many workers feel stressed, alone and isolated.
When a worker is faced with constant stress, or chronic stress, it affects him or her on all levels, mentally, physically and emotionally. The person is more apt to suffer illnesses as stress weakens their immune system. In fact, stress has a negative effect on every system and organ in their body.
The Kensington Stress & Technology in the Workplace Survey
The results of the Kensington Stress and Technology in the Workplace Survey, conducted by the Kensington Technology Group, showed that although fifty-five percent of the workers surveyed felt more productive then they had the previous year, fifty-one percent of them felt that technology increased their stress levels at work.
Reducing Work Related Stress
One way to reduce the stress in your life is learning a stress management technique that works for you. You may need to try several stress reduction methods before you find the one that makes you feel like the stress is melting away. Several popular stress management techniques include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Passive muscle relaxation
- Tai chi
- Guided imagery
In addition to learning techniques for managing the stress in your life, take time to relax. Turn off your computer and cell phone, listen to relaxing music or take a ride in the country.
More and more businesses are taking steps to help workers learn ways to manage workplace stress, including the impact of technology on work related stress, by offering programs and workshops on stress management and employee burnout prevention.