Technology is crucial for the competitiveness of companies. However, investing in IT innovation is not enough; You also have to take care of people, protect their emotional well-being and avoid techno-stress.
Emotions such as fear, tension, anguish, frustration… when computing is used, can cause serious problems in people. Stress accounts for around 30% of sick leave in developed countries. And, although it is not known exactly what percentage is due to technological pressure, it can be assumed that it is very high.
People do not adapt equally to new technologies. There are those who suffer resistance to change and those who suffer from certain digital incompetence due to lack of training, bad previous experiences or, also, we are not going to deny it, because computer scientists sometimes ignore that they should think of both engineers and digital illiterates.
The effects of techno-stress on employees are physical, such as insomnia, fatigue, neuralgia, contractures …, and also psychological: irritability, feeling of worthlessness, anxiety, lack of commitment to the company, depression … Techno-stress causes unhappiness in workers and as a consequence, productivity is reduced.
That is why it is key to prevent it with some guidelines:
Technological innovation must be constant and, therefore, gradual. It is necessary to incorporate a culture of change that allows its internalization. Technology is there to help us, facilitate our work, promote self-realization and create collaborative environments.
Choose, don’t settle
We all know hostile software, not friendly at all. And there is no reason to accept it as inevitable. Computer engineers and designers are there to meet the demands of users and adapt to their needs. You need to listen to the workers and incorporate their ideas.
Teach every day
Taking a course is not enough. Companies must have collaborators, mentors, trainers always available to help in difficult times. Information and training must be constant and flow in a multichannel space, so that everyone can share tricks, keyboard shortcuts, options. And not only with teaching hours, but also with small videos and emails where new solutions are provided. Suggestions for improvement should be rewarded and doubts listened to.
Technology has its moment and should not assault personal or family life. We want to work in a collaborative, non-invasive environment. For this reason, the schedule has to be respected: people should not reply to an email, activate the do not disturb function or send an automatic message when they are on vacation.
And something else
Technology allows us to communicate in these moments when we cannot see each other as much as we would like, but, when this happens – what will happen -, let’s not forget to see each other face to face, touch each other, get up to help a partner, sit down by his side, being close … is the best antidote to techno-stress.