The Workplace Cure For Technostress

Having too much of a good thing definitely applies to technology. While it’s an indispensable helper in completing tasks and keeping in touch, technology seems to be taking over our lives. There are now nearly six million apps out there. Too many choices, too much distraction.

Even the workplace is drowning in technology. A recent global survey reported 43 percent of workers use an average of nine apps to get work done. Despite this, productivity has slid with the rise of app and social media use. No wonder it’s stressing us out.

So much so that there is a term for it; technostress or the adverse mental effects that come from coping with technology. Whether that’s the pressure of constant work availability, the anxiety of keeping up with all your social feeds or the tension that comes with learning a new system, it’s terrible news. Not only does it induce stress, but it also reduces productivity and accuracy at work.

What can you do? Here are three tips for shutting down technostress in your workplace:

Create a strong digital culture

Learning and mastering new systems can be challenging and become a barrier to doing great work. Microsoft found that companies who have a strong digital culture were able to introduce technology that drives success.

So, build up your digital culture by measuring how happy employees are with their work. Find out if technology can help them work smarter, not harder. Support them with training so they can make the most of new technologies. Don’t forget to role model appropriate technology use: resist the temptation to use your mobile phone as an extended office.  

Set clear limits

Put policies in place regarding the use of work systems after hours. Also, make it clear that working while on holidays is not on.

Take a look at technology use during the work day as well. You may need to limit the time employees can spend on their work computers checking social media during work hours. This protects them from distractions and information overload while working.

Closely evaluate new technology

You’d never hire the wrong person if you can help it, so why should technology be any different? Before introducing new apps or systems, consider: Is this useful? Is it reliable? Is this really what we need?

Good technology should complement, not complicate, how your people work. Careful evaluation will save your employees from the needless worry that accompanies rolling out the wrong system.

Remember, technology is a tool to help us work better. Follow our tips above to make sure you’re in control, not under the control of technostress.