Updated: Aug 17
A modern issue known as "technostress" results from an inability to cope with new technologies (Camacho & Barrios, 2022). People may experience two types of technological stress: they find it challenging to accept computer technology or become overly reliant on it. Many people were forced to isolate themselves due to Covid-19 and became accustomed to using technology from home. People who worked for companies that switched to at-home offices had to telework from their homes (Camacho & Barrios, 2022). However, many elderly individuals have trouble using technology effectively (Van et al., 2022). Stress may result if technology use is not adequately controlled (Camacho & Barrios, 2022). Middle-aged workers speculated that this link might be influenced by job distress and a blend of career and life demands associated with having young kids at home. Middle-aged workers are more likely to report experiencing stress related to computerized information (Van et al., 2022). Not feeling motivated enough to try to use technology healthily due to personal issues that some older adults have and the problem of dealing with complexity at work results in stress that negatively affects mental health and well-being.
Working long hours and having flexible schedules are additional factors that may have contributed to technological stress, known as techno-overload and techno-invasion. Many people sacrifice their free time due to the stress and workload they experience (Bellmann & Hübler, 2021). Older workers are negatively impacted not only by too much work or working long hours but also by the new requirements for using technology, known as techno-uncertainty, which adds complexity to using technology, known as techno-complexity (Van et al., 2022).
Because of complexity and technological overload, technology has a negative impact on many university professors. Many older adults are experiencing problems and negative emotions in their professions, such as professors who feel techno-insecure because they fear losing their jobs due to the overload and confusion of technology (Li & Wang, 2021). Nevertheless, many older adults who were most at risk for Covid-19 were explicitly advised to isolate themselves, which led to their dependence on technology for everyday use at the time. They had to adapt technology to their needs for various uses, including online meetings, essential appointments, shopping, and other things (Benge et al., 2022). Technology overload can result from excessive use of technology; it is crucial to use it efficiently (Van et al., 2022).
The causes and benefits of technological stress in older adults may differ from those in younger adults (Van et al., 2022). Working from home can have advantages like flexibility, cost savings from travel, and time flexibility. However, there are also drawbacks related to technostress and how one's surroundings are at home, which can lead to burnout, family conflicts, and other physical and cognitive problems like memory loss, which can make individuals less productive when it comes to work (Van et al., 2022). Organizations can take a variety of steps to assist employees with their health and safety issues related to technostress. Organizations can provide their employees withtraining programs that educate them on how to use technology based on the tasks assigned to them, as well as training on how to deal with technology challenges to help employees perform better. This training could take place via remote sessions, live chat, or in-person sessions, with a limited number of people per session. Companies should also teach employees how to solve technical problems quickly and easily. This will ensure that employees' adaptation goes smoothly. Organizations must proceed slowly and steadily when introducing new technology changes at work.
Organizations can also declare necessary paid breaks in every employee's day so that employees who feel pressured to give up their breaks for work do not do so and instead use the breaks they are given for personal or leisure time. Multiple breaks, at least two per day, should be provided when employees require breaks. Organizations can also implement one day per week where employees can play a game or do a relaxing activity where they feel comfortable to lighten their stress levels, which could be through teamwork games such as problem-solving or even trivia in between meetings. In addition, physical activity via remote meetings, such as Zumba or simply dancing, can aid physical well-being.
Organizations can also hold individual or group meetings where employees discuss the challenges they face with technology and how the problems can be solved to help relieve stress. Companies can also implement discussion group chats on various topics related to technology or technostress so that any employee who feels the need to chat can communicate with other employees to get help, for example, through Discord. In addition, they can implement a mental health discussion group chat for employees, which can help many people feel calmer and safer if stressed out, and sessions where mental health calming techniques are taught. Furthermore, having mental health discussions in every meeting for at least 10-15 minutes is critical because it can serve as a reminder for those employees who remain silent about their mental health and can genuinely feel that the company they work for cares about their mental health. The organization must support their employees' safety and health by actively listening to their concerns or what they have to say and monitoring any issues they may have by assigning a mentor to assist them. Employees will express their concerns once employers demonstrate a relationship that assures them that they are cared for. Moreover, organizations can require employees to write and submit a weekly report on how they feel about working from home and using technology. Supervisors or managers can read them to determine what feedback they can use to improve their information technology or management systems.
Individuals' mental and physical well-being and social relationships revolving around
technostress can be quickly resolved if the organizations they work for provide full support, making employees happy and satisfied with their work, thus resulting in productivity and making the company they are working for happy as well.
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Benge, J. F., Aguirre, A., Scullin, M. K., Kiselica, A. M., Hilsabeck, R. C., Paydarfar, D., &
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Camacho, S., & Barrios, A. (2022). Teleworking and technostress: early consequences of a COVID-19 lockdown. Cognition, Technology & Work, 24(3), 441–457.
Li, L., & Wang, X. (2021). Technostress inhibitors and creators and their impacts on university teachers’ work performance in higher education. Cognition, Technology &
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Van Fossen, J. A., Baker, N. M., Mack, E. A., Chang, C.-H., Cotten, S. R., & Catalano, I. (2022).
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