Knowing what technostress is can help you detect the level of your digital well-being and that of your work team. Indeed, since new technologies have changed the work paradigm, human talent has been exposed to high levels of stress. And even more so within teleworking contexts.
Thus, the emotional exhaustion caused by technostress not only has a negative impact on people’s mental health but also on their performance in the workplace.
Therefore, in order for you to know what technostress is, what are its characteristics, and its associated disadvantages, we have prepared this blog post. As a result, you will have all the knowledge you need to avoid the effects of technostress when teleworking.
Thus, you will be able to provide your human capital with all the tools they need to regulate technostress and optimize your team’s performance when working from home.
What is technostress?
Technostress is defined as a state of generalized stress as a consequence of the repeated use of technology. Within this category, all digital devices such as computers, cell phones, tablets, etc., are included.
From a historical perspective, the term “technostress” was conceptualized by Craig Brod, an American psychiatrist, in 1984. In fact, he established it as an adaptive procedure, which is differentiated by the difficulty of reaching a healthy regulation in the face of the predominance of new technologies.
On the other hand, as Jose L. Pinheiro, philosopher, and professor in charge of our online course of Effective Teams in remote work, points out:
“There are two types of stress: eustress and distress. In the face of a circumstance, during eustress, we elaborate a proportional and audacious response to excel and resist in the face of difficulties. In contrast, distress implies a level of exhaustion that paralyzes us, blocks us, that does not bring out the best in us. And we have all experienced it to a greater or lesser extent. It involves states of alertness, anxiety, nervousness, loss of motivation at work, isolation or perception of isolation, irritability, anger, unrestrained venting, loss of sleep, selective memory processes of past negative situations, and anticipation of future negative situations”.
Thus, technostress is a variant of traditional stress, but that arises from the impossibility of adjusting the use of digital resources in the context of high work demand.
It is important to mention that although technostress is a phenomenon that is generated in all human contexts, it occurs with greater frequency and intensity in the face of new types of work, such as remote work.
What is the impact of technostress on teams?
Faced with a situation of technostress, people who perform their functions under the remote work modality experience an alteration in their physical and emotional health based on a state of anxiety of varying degrees of severity.
According to a study by Forbes, technostress is caused by increased work demands, a tedious routine, and a lack of organization and correct distribution of tasks by the team leader.
In order that you know which are the effects of the techno-stress in teleworking, next, we enumerate and explain them to you briefly:
- There are no work schedules: people who telework and who suffer from technostress do not have a delimitation of the start and end of the working day.
- The tecnostress affect the sedentary lifestyle: teleworking without the organization of schedules forces the human talent not to be able to realize physical activity. This affects the physical and emotional health of the person.
- Social isolation: teleworking teams get used to working alone. Thus, human capital resorts more frequently to technology to make social connections. Thus, the enrichment of the face-to-face meeting with the rest of the work team is lost.
- Technology addiction: sometimes, technostress can produce an emotional dependence on technological devices. And with greater emphasis in teleworking environments.
Tips to reduce technostress in teleworking
As a team leader, you must know the main mechanisms to neutralize the disadvantages of technostress in your remote work groups.
In this section, we will provide you with some practical recommendations to combat technostress. Thus, you will be able to promote the digital well-being of your talent. And at the same time, achieve the performance you need for the human capital that teleworks.
1. Organize the remote working day
First of all, you must organize your team’s working day. You can propose schedules to perform their tasks, as well as promote breaks without invading their privacy.
In this way, you can help your talent to regulate the techno-stress throughout their teleworking day. Particular attention should be paid to students, if there are any in the team. Because in addition to the fact that they have stress from work, they are also studying, and when the stress accumulates, they begin to study worse, and in the browser bar there are requests like “write my essay for me cheap“, which is not good.
2. Develop team meetings
Another strategy to reduce technostress is to hold regular meetings. While online meetings are not the same as face-to-face meetings, meeting with your work team can help establish closer emotional bonds and detect cases of technostress in your workgroup.
3. Empower talent
On the other hand, as a team leader, you can plan instances of training and development of skills for the management of technostress during telework.
To do this, you should analyze what are the characteristics of your team and recognize if there are cases of technostress. However, you can always conduct training to prevent the consequences of technostress and further improve work productivity.
4. Promote a culture of digital well-being
Likewise, to reduce the disadvantages of technostress in your teams, it is essential that you lead by example and promote a positive organizational culture through wellness plans.
Thus, to avoid stress at work, it is necessary to strengthen digital well-being in your workgroup. In this regard, a study by La Nación states that digital well-being is the way in which each person assumes the link with technology according to their objectives. Here, aspects such as human talent’s emotional and psychological health are involved.
In conclusion, understanding what technostress is can be useful to recognize what is the relationship you have with technology when teleworking. And at the same time, it can help you to lead the people in your virtual work team from the perspective of emotional well-being.
Remember that the use of technology should be an ally to optimize your performance as human talent. Thus, it is essential to exercise leadership through new technologies. But always bearing in mind the techno-stress and its consequences.
Then, contemplate techno-stress and apply the strategies we have detailed to reduce its consequences. Consequently, you will be able to lead with the benefits of digital transformation on your side but without losing sight of the importance of digital well-being.