Stress Awareness Day is always on the first Wednesday in November and this year’s theme is ‘Does Hi-Tech cause Hi-Stress?’.
What is stress and why is it important?
Stress is a response to demands on the body and life, a response to crisis and fears. If stress gets overwhelming it can cause other mental health problems. Emotional exhaustion and physical illness can impact on work, relationships, families, and every aspect of life. When someone is suffering from negative or overwhelming stress, they may not act or react normally in some situations, for example driving or in an argument, with disastrous consequences.
This year’s subject will look at the negatives and positives of the lifestyle that aspects of computers, internet and automation have brought. There are two sides of technology. On the one hand, the stressful effects of the 24/7 lifestyle that technology has brought, and on the other, the positive contribution that technology can make, helping us manage our lives better. There is no doubt that technology impacts on all our lives, and it is important that we look at the positive and the adverse effects it can have, and how we can all use technology to our advantage.
Is tech addiction making us far more stressed at work?
Work is a place where deadlines, time management, and multitasking thrive. No other industry feels that intense pressure more than tech. Tech companies are notorious for being fast-paced work spaces that produce stress-induced workers.
Information confirms that big tech companies cause their employees the most stress.
PayScale- an American company which provides information about salary, benefits and compensation information – found that even the top companies can have stressful work environments. Of the top 200 companies on the Best Employers list, tech companies were among the most stressful places to work.
Intel, eBay, Apple, IBM , and Amazon have the most stressful work environments, with employees reporting poor scores on the “low job stress” scale.
In another survey, PayScale asked employees at notable tech companies to rate how stressful their work environments are, and they found that Monster.com is the most stressful tech company, with 82 percent of their employees reporting high stress levels. Samsung came in as the second-most stressful tech company, and Salesforce.com came in third.
People strive to get job at these big tech companies, but once installed, they find a highly demanding and stressful work environment. Amazon ranked as one of the most stressful companies to work for.
However, not all tech companies produce stressful work environments: 44 percent of the employees at Google and 46 percent of the employees at Yahoo reported low job stress. Google and Yahoo both took top spots on the list of Best Employers — perhaps because of their amazing perks.
Google, for one, urges employees to relax at work by stocking up their offices with toys, video games, football tables and even nap stations. Companies like Google are willing to invest in their employee’s happiness because they know a happy worker makes for a healthy thriving company.
The millenials (20s, 30s and even 40s) are the distracted generations, wasting hours a day checking irrelevant emails and intrusive social media accounts.
According to some reports, this “always on” culture – exacerbated by the smartphone – is actually making us more stressed and less productive.
“Something like 40% of people wake up, and the first thing they do is check their email,” says Professor Sir Cary Cooper of Manchester Business School, who has studied e-mail and workplace stress. “For another 40%, it’s the last thing they do at night.”
The Quality of Working Life 2016 report from the Chartered Management Institute found that this obsession with checking emails outside of work hours is making it difficult for many of us to switch off.
And this is increasing our stress levels.
How have Tech Products Have Improved Our Lives Today
The uses of technology in our daily lives increases by day, from simple tasks to complex management systems, technology has made these jobs look simple and easy to do.
The continuous advances in technology have led to numerous new methods of electronic communication, such as social networking websites, emails, voicemails, and video conferences. These advanced communication tech tools have helped us to eliminate time and distance. This is beneficial not only to our personal relationships, but also to education and business.
Even though technology is beneficial to communication and allows people to stay in touch, we all need to find a balance between the cyber and the real world. These technological advancements are important in today’s society. We must be careful not to lose sight of the people who are physically around us. While using social media might be fun and convenient, it is also harmful to our social skills.
Technology has changed education in so many ways. It has expanded access to education and there are huge amounts of information (books, images, videos, audio) that are available through the internet that will enable us to enhance our knowledge. In addition, online courses are on the rise and most of them are free.
Modern technology has made it simple for students to learn from any place in the world through online education. Also, nowadays students use modern technology in classrooms for a better way of learning. For example, students can use iPads to share visual lessons, presentations, and examples with their peers. This has made learning more convenient, fun, and more effective.
Tech based products have been used in building. You can make use of tech based apps to draw, develop, or quantify the amount of materials that you want to use in any building structure. You can even see your building in 3D, giving you an ability to visualise it before having to develop it.
Housing and Lifestyle
Housing and lifestyle have also been impacted by the modern technology. Automated items that you have in your home today make your life easier and more organised. Thanks in particular to the advanced technological solutions such as automated door locks, security cameras and lighting control, our homes are more secure than ever. We now have easy access to all sorts of information. We can catch the news and shop online any time of the day or night from the comfort of your own home.
Technology is the driving force behind the huge improvements in healthcare. Medical technology is a broad field where innovation plays a crucial role in sustaining health. Areas like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, the development of medical devices and equipment, and more have all made significant contributions to improving the health of people all around the world. From “small” innovations like adhesive bandages and ankle braces, to larger, complex technologies like MRI machines, artificial organs, and robotic prosthetic limbs, technology has undoubtedly made an incredible impact on medicine.
A a result of the development of these brilliant innovations, healthcare practitioners can continue to find ways to improve their practice – from better diagnosis, surgical procedures, and improved patient care.
An increasing number of people are now using the internet to diagnose themselves by looking for advice from people on the internet who have experienced the same symptoms. Technology has also enabled doctors to use text messages, videos, and e-mails to consult colleagues from all over the world. This is especially beneficial to patients and doctors that live in rural and under-developed areas.
Convenience of Travel
At the turn of this century, planning a holiday might have entailed a visit to the local travel agent. Or for the adventurous traveller the use of a guidebook and relying on trusted word-of-mouth recommendations to set their travel agenda. Today, thanks to breakthroughs in technology and high-speed internet, travellers can organise their own trips. Book their own flight and hotels online, choose to stay in a stranger’s house, and search online restaurant reviews on their mobile while connected to the hotel Wi-Fi.
It is transforming every phase of hospitality – from finding a hotel, to checking in, to unlocking your door and personalising your stay. As travel is inherently mobile, travellers expect to use their mobile devices to enrich their travel experiences.
Technology has also presented new opportunities for small businesses in the travel sector, allowing consumers worldwide to stumble across anything from a B&B to a luxury safari park through online review sites, social media and the businesses’ own websites.
Today, we just cannot imagine life without well-developed means of transport like cars, trains, buses, and airplanes which have become a basic need. Over the last decade, the automobile industry is experiencing a technological revolution with electrical vehicles and self drive cars.
Stress in the Workplace
Many employees are reluctant to talk about stress at work. There is still a stigma attached to stress and people still think they will are weak if they admit they are struggling. But stress is not a weakness, and can affect anyone at any level of an organisation.
It is therefore important that an employer takes steps to tackle the work-related causes of stress in its organisation. Encourage staff to seek help at the earliest opportunity if they begin to experience stress.
For any help and advice whether you are an employer or an employee, please get in touch.
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