Author: Satu Kauppinen
Publication date: 18.10.2023
Technology has deeply permeated both the personal and professional realms of individuals. In fact, nowadays, we find ourselves navigating a landscape characterized by organized chaos. This is where the ever-evolving demands and repercussions of technology hold sway. As a result, it can lead to experiencing technostress.
Technology has transcended its role as a mere resource; it has become a pivotal organizational force. However, the interaction with changing technology can either enhance or hinder one's performance. Actually, research into technostress underscores that the adverse impacts of technostress can detrimentally affect employee performance.
What is technostress
Technostress is a term used to describe the negative psychological and physiological effects that can result from the use of technology. The most common technologies are particularly digital devices and information and communication technologies. In particular, technostress encompasses the stress, anxiety, and discomfort experienced by individuals. This is due to their interactions with technology in various aspects of life including work and personal activities.
People can experience technostress in different situations and for different reasons. Technostress creators refer to stress-inducing factors within an organization that arise from the inefficient utilization of information and communication technology (ICT). Consequently, this inefficient utilization can lead to stress experienced by individuals.
Technostress creators categories
1. Work-home conflict pertains to situations in which the use of ICT can give rise to conflicts between work obligations and personal responsibilities.
2. Invasion of privacy encompasses scenarios in which ICT utilization may compromise privacy through heightened surveillance.
3. Work overload refers to circumstances in which ICT usage may result in a workload that surpasses an individual's skill set or capacity.
4. Role ambiguity delineates situations in which ICT application may induce a lack of essential information needed to perform a specific role.
5. Job insecurity outlines conditions in which ICT intrusion may cause an individual to perceive a threat regarding potential job loss.
It's important to note that the specific factors contributing to technostress can vary from person to person. Experiences can vary on individual circumstances and technology usage patterns. However, addressing technostress often involves finding a balance in technology use, setting boundaries, and developing strategies. That’s how you can manage the challenges associated with digital technology effectively.
How to prevent technostress
Preventing technostress involves adopting healthy technology usage habits and managing relationships with digital devices and platforms. There is an important role at the individual and organizational level. Additionally, everyone has responsibility about their own behaviour but also leaders have responsibility for employees and organization health.
Strategies to prevent technostress
Work and free time can easily mix. Make sure you take breaks from using technology. Turn off non-essential notifications to reduce interruptions. Take periodic breaks from technology, such as a weekend getaway without screens or a digital detox day.
Learn technology/ Offer training
Organizations have an important role in offering sufficient and high-quality training. Additionally, encouraging and creating a positive image is important. On an individual level, you can improve your tech literacy to reduce frustration when using new software or devices.
Seek Support/Offer support
Organizations are responsible for providing sufficient support in order to cope with work tasks. Do not hesitate to ask for support from work or for example from your friends.
Regularly update and maintain devices
Prevent stress ensuring devices are up to date with the latest software and security patches to minimize technical issues. What’s more, it is good to back up data to prevent data loss regularly.
Take care of security
Be vigilant about online security and privacy. Use strong and unique passwords. Apart from that, you should be cautious about sharing personal information and be aware of phishing scams.
Prioritize Offline Activities
Make time for non-digital activities, such as reading, exercising, work well-being day or spending time with friends.
How to deal with Technostress
We need to remember that everyone's relationship with technology is unique. That’s the reason why it is important to tailor these strategies to everyone's specific needs and circumstances. Regular self-assessment and adjustment of technology habits are key to preventing and managing technostress effectively.