Technostress & The Impact on Employee Productivity

business person visibly stress while others distract him with variety of smart devices

Over the last two decades, tech has drastically changed the way your company does business. These advancements have improved our lives, making our tasks easier than ever before. However, each tech improvement forces you and your employees to adapt. Adapting or conforming causes the perception of pressure. Your body then creates stress connected to the perceived pressure or demand. When you factor in how often your employees are adapting to new technologies, it makes sense why businesses like yours are looking to alleviate technostress among their employees to increase productivity, drive innovation, and boost revenue.

What Exactly Is Technostress?

Screen insomnia, phantom vibration syndrome, nomophobia and even Facebook fatigue are all forms of technostress. Basically, it’s an umbrella term that covers the mental stress new technology places on your employees as they adapt to and integrate these technologies. Technostress, often associated with spending too much time online, is nothing new. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a well-known form of technostress that affected many in the Tech field and was later replaced with texting thumb once more took to doing business via their devices.

While technology isn’t dangerous in itself, the danger rests in how we rely on technology. Our reliance is what sets off a disturbance, which in turn creates various mental and physical reactions and effects. Social media platforms used in marketing strategies are also significant contributors of technostress. These platforms have implemented techniques forcing the user to create habitual loops, continuously seeking their next dose of social dopamine.

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that correlates with desires, ambitions, and rewards, is the hook persuasive tech uses to get us to check for notifications and emails constantly. Sean Parker, the co-founder of Facebook, admitted that the platform’s starting goal was to consume as much of the users’ time and attention as possible; noting that there is a conscious effort to manipulate individual’s psychology. Ultimately, social media platforms heavily influence our levels of dopamine, the chemical trigger that keeps your employees hooked and leads to an increase in technostress.

Ever catch your employees scrolling endlessly through their social media feeds? Specific features like the favorite button, that triggers dopamine, are to blame. To offer a healthy work climate for your Tech talent and boost productivity, you must uncover methods that allow you to utilize the marketing aspects of these platforms yet assist your company in relieving the technostress your employees face in today’s digital world. If you ignore the signs of technostress, you will begin to see a decrease in productivity and a decline in work-culture as well.

Technostress Solutions For Your Employees

As time passes and more big tech breakthroughs arrive, your Tech specialists will have an even higher chance of dealing with technostress as they adapt to technologies meant to make their jobs easier. The results from various studies support the negative impact our growing tech addiction has on a company’s growth and production. Several forward-thinking businesses have realized they need to conceive and implement plans to reduce and eliminate the technostress in their employees. Here are a few strategies to alleviate technostress at your company:

  • Smartphone Fasting: It’s impossible to tell your employees to go 30 days without their Android or Apple devices. However, limiting the use of smartphones during work hours is a step towards reducing technostress. You can start with a no-phone rule during meetings; it’s as simple as banning them from the meeting room. Creating a phone ban will remove the interrupting vibrations of an incoming call or a distracting Twitter chirp. Regulating phone use gives your business the opportunity to capture every employee’s attention, ensuring everyone is focused on the discussions and topics at hand. After all, there’s nothing worse than putting effort into a meeting only to look up to find an employee playing with their smartphone.
  • Email Curfew: Ask yourself this: would you rather your employees focus on their task at hand or that sixth email in an unrelated chain that they were CC’ed in? Explore professional messaging services like Slack and Google Hangouts, to avoid distracting email chains. One approach is to create a company-wide email curfew regulating when employees can and can’t send emails. Your Tech talent will have the chance to create a better work-life balance when they are given the opportunity to remove the stress placed on answering emails outside of work, which can lead to enhanced innovations, improved work-performance and more revenue due to the lack of technostress exposure.
  • Unlimited PTO: The thought of your employees taking less time off may sound appealing and cost-efficient, but offering limited time-off will ultimately lead to an increase in your turnover rate. Mondo implemented an unlimited PTO policy for our internal employees, increasing employee satisfaction and generating better quality work. Several studies and surveys show that when you give your employees the opportunity to step back and recuperate, they are likely to return offering more productivity. Employees will likely outperform their previous work with a renewed sense of energy and direction. An unlimited PTO policy will force your employees to take a break from their work-related devices and networks, reducing the effects of technostress.

Isn’t it interesting that the more we shift and shape the technology around us, the more these technologies not only shape the way we live but also alter our relationships, work habits and our mental and physical health? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make sure your company is aware of the threat technostress poses before your employees show signs of social media fatigue, nomophobia or any other side effects of this tech-related disorder.  Ensure your business integrates procedures and regulations to lessen and end the impact technostress has on your Tech specialists.

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