Technostress: sources and impacts in the world of work

Technostress is linked to an excessive and permanent use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Indeed, these new technologies have revolutionized the way businesses operate and are organised but have also invaded the family home. In a few words: they are everywhere. And this is not always an advantage…

  • This omnipresence has pierced the line between professional and private life. With the democratisation of smartphones and the institution of the mobile internet, there is no longer anything to prevent the porosity between these two spheres. Some people can no longer stop themselves from constantly checking their e-mails outside working hours, while others experience it as a constant invasion and control in their lives. Choice for some, obligation for others, the omnipresence of ICTs becomes unbearable. There is no better remedy for this than a strict distinction between personal and private tools. For both your email address and your mobile phone number, have one reserved for professional use and another exclusively for private use. Make sure you leave your professional equipment at work and your private tools at home.

  • The same applies to your vacation periods, however short they may be. You need to disconnect from work, and even from technology, quite simply. Get organized and plan for set periods of time with and without technology.

  • It’s not uncommon to hear that some people sleep with their smartphones at their side. While some of them use it only as an alarm clock, others leave it connected all night with the risk (or purpose?) of being woken up at every notification. In addition to this nocturnal disturbance, having your phone in your room means that you have to look at it before going to sleep, usually without any real use. However, the use of screens before going to bed postpones the time of falling asleep and disrupts the sleep cycle. In other words, the smartphone should be banned from your room.

  • The lack of energy linked to the presence of ICTs during your sleep is not the only source of your fatigue. Indeed, ICTs also generate informational fatigue. This corresponds to information overload.

This can be the result of your research on the net. In just a few clicks, thousands of results are offered, and it is up to you to target what you were looking for. One solution is to clearly define your search beforehand to avoid getting lost among information.

Another source of information fatigue is linked to the demands of ICTs. Indeed, the number of emails received per day sometimes exceeds what is reasonable, which can sometimes cause a loss of employee commitment. The solution? Suggest to your team a regulation for these e-mails: this will prevent everyone from reading chains of e-mails that do not ultimately concern you.

  • Finally, technology is always evolving. No sooner have you had time to update yourself on the latest technologies than others are already on the production line. At this rate, the risk is to get lost in it. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the technology enthusiasts around you. They will be happy to explain how to use the tools you need, without having to be at the cutting edge of new developments either.

However, don’t think that ICTs only have negative effects. Thanks to these new technologies, it is now possible to telework, for example, or to keep in touch with an expatriate colleague. The list of benefits of ICTs is still long, but unfortunately it is not the subject of this article.

In conclusion, don’t forget to disconnect from time to time, and above all don’t get indigestion from new information and communication technologies.