Since the increasing availability of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) over the past decade, as well as due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become more prominent throughout the world. It has given employees and businesses great flexibility on how they conduct their everyday business, improved productivity and as well as shown many that physical offices are no longer necessary or can at least be downscaled to decrease costs. However, since the increase in remote working, there has been an evident increase in technostress experienced by those working remotely.
Technostress is defined as a modern disease caused by the inability to cope with new technologies in a healthy manner. With the prominence of ICTs and remote working, employees are now constantly connected to their businesses - making them feel that they must always be ready and available whenever they are needed. This view is shared by studies done by the World Health Organization (WHO) which have shown that this constant connection and availability made possible by ICTs has brought about an expectation of individuals to be constantly available and more efficient with tasks - leading to a rise in technostress.
Technostress has a number of physical and mental side effects, namely: headaches, body pains, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, mental exhaustion, as well as can even lead to complete burnout. It is important for businesses working remotely to understand these symptoms so that they can help spot them in employees as a means to help combat this rise. Below is a list of other ways businesses can help combat technostress:
- Allow employees to work flexible hours throughout the day in order to lead a more balanced lifestyle
- Use software to track and monitor employee screen time to ensure that they are properly rested
- Enforce a strict communication policy with employees, limiting communication after hours and reducing the number of apps used for communication
- Promote a healthy work culture which respects employees’ work life and private life boundaries
Without action against technostress, employees will eventually experience poor work performance, an increase in errors in work that they produce, low confidence and moral within the working environment, and general resentment towards their work.
We hope that this article will help you to properly identify and combat technostress within your business and ensure a better working environment for all of your employees.