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Technology: The New Solution To Office Stress?

Technology: The New Solution To Office Stress?

Thomas Miller

When it comes to mental health issues like stress, technology often gets a pretty bad reputation. Constant connectivity is, after all, the evil behind endless burnouts. Equally, social media platforms can lead to stressful and unrealistic comparisons. Even at work, the need to forever be online can lead to insane levels of employee stress. In general, then, you could argue that technological advancements have made mental health even more of a minefield than it once was.

No one can deny that especially considering that plenty of studies have now testified to the fact. But, if you look under the techy surface, you may find that the opposite can also be true. Of late, technology has been working towards reducing rather than increasing stress. That’s especially the case in many modern workplaces.

This could be an invaluable revelation considering that 59% of adults experience work-based stress at some stage. This is such a problem that it can lead to widespread unhappiness, and a loss of productivity. Up until now, technology has only worsened this situation. Workers now have more pressure to push harder than ever. Many now end up taking work home with them on a regular basis. But, if managers start realising the ways which tech can reduce stress, they could begin to tackle the problem.

Of course, before this can have the desired impact, it’s vital managers acknowledge how tech currently increases stress. Recognising the pressure to be forever on the go, for instance, is vital. But, once we realise these issues, it’s possible that the working world could use technology to reduce stress in the following ways.

Technology to introduce easier processes

Nothing kicks off work-based stress like a convoluted process. If employees have to open endless programs to complete a simple task, they’re sure to lose their tempers. This problem in itself can make every working day far harder than it needs to be. Not to mention that long processes like these could see team members having to work longer hours each day. But, as much as technology can lengthen already long processes, it can also reduce them.

By looking out for decent programmes and software, managers can ensure that work processes are easier than ever. Business management software like Zoho is sure to improve efficiency for everyone. Programme connectivity could also see information automatically transferring. That’s ideal for stress relief as it saves employees from having to manage this themselves. All the better for lightening that work load.

Even if managers don’t know much about simplifying tech process themselves, IT support companies like Netstar have recognized the need to improve efficiency. They can implement processes for any workplace where necessary. As such, there’s no reason why every business can’t use technology to simplify and do away with stress at last.

A chance for employees to work out of the office

Sometimes, just the office environment in itself can cause increased stress. The constant tapping of keyboards or humming of the aircon can drive anyone wild. Not to mention that sitting in a hive of activity all the time can cause stress and anxiety galore. But, again, it’s possible that tech holds the answer. That’s because, with options like cloud technology now available across the board, it’s easier than ever for employees to work on a remote basis.  Technology has taken remote capabilities so far, in fact, that many managers are now encouraging this as an option. And, 82% of remote workers testify that they experience less stress as a result. The proof, of course, is in the increased productivity which remote workers manage to bring to the table.

This is fantastic news. And, it would never have been possible without the latest technology advancements. You could even say that, in the past, working from home caused more stress than anything else. Such workers would have to struggle to locate or carry around physical files. Communication would be patchy at best, and remote workers would feel alone in their efforts. Now, though, the reality couldn’t be more different. Cloud computing means that workers can access any file, on any computer, from anywhere. And, the latest in communication technology even means that remote workers can stay hooked up to the office all day. That leads us nicely onto our next benefit, which is…

A gateway to better communication

When we consider the best benefits which technology brings, communication has to be up there. Since the creation of Skype, it’s been easier than ever to communicate with people across the world. And, that’s made it easier to improve communication in the office.

Let’s be honest; miscommunications among coworkers are a leading cause for work stress. Feeling unable to communicate with other members of a working team can be frustrating. It can also lead to low morale and general lack of direction. But, with these new communication options, team members can communicate whether they’re across the other side of the office, or out of the workspace altogether. And, Skype is far from the only software which offers this benefit.

Options like Google Hangouts also make it easier for members of different work teams to message each other. This saves stressful treks across the office and ensures that no one goes ahead without collaborating first. With the latest tech like Slack in the workplace, it’s possible to take this even further. That’s because Slack is designed with working teams in mind. This collaborative communication tool ensures all work-based communication takes place on one platform. It also provides the chance to divide conversations into individual projects. All while ensuring that team members can leave conversations which they no longer need to be a part of.

This kind of technology can totally take the stress out of workplace communications. With business-tailored solutions, it’s even possible for team members to take control of communication in a way that’s never been possible before — Goodbye stress; hello teams who talk to each other.

A sure way to get organised

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Failure to organise their working day properly could also be increasing the levels of stress that your team experience. That’s because a lack of organisation can leave everything in a bit of a mess. Not putting together a timeline can lead to longer working days. Equally, jotting down notes about meetings in different pads can lead to missed deadlines. All of which are sure to smother even the calmest of colleagues. But, as you might have guessed by now, technology could also have the answer here.

That’s because, with programmes like Google Calendars to hand, employees can organise like never before. If employers encouraged the use of these as standard, then, stress levels would soon plummet. Even better, Google calendars uses technology to connect with every other Google programme a worker uses. By using a calendar which links to, say, their Gmail account, organisation will always be stress-free. Without their even needing to think about it, email dates will appear on their calendar overnight. That ensures that missed appointments and double bookings become a thing of the past. Not to mention that using this programme office-wide ensures everyone can access everyone else’s calendar. That can lead to stress-free collaboration, and an easier way to manage time as a team.

As if all of that weren’t enough, programmes like these also provide workers with a chance to split their days into timed sections. And, once they have a timeline in place, they can work within limits which see them leaving at a respectable time. Even better, using a checklist like this means that taking work home will become a thing of the stressful past.

A chance to implement workplace wellness

It’s also well worth noting that technology now provides managers with an opportunity to ensure wellness in the workplace. This is a focus which has been sadly neglected in the past. Even if managers have put things like mental health services in place, many team members have been too embarrassed to use them. But, with the anonymity of online services, it’s possible to reduce stress more effectively.

With options like online counselling, for instance, employees can get help without anyone else in the office knowing. That makes it far more likely that people will reach out the moment they start to feel stressed. And that, in turn, can stop this problem from escalating.

That’s not where tech-based wellness benefits end, either. By offering  apps like Calm in the break room, managers can also help employees find coping mechanisms. Options like these provide guided meditations and yoga practices. Even better, most of these sessions are no more than ten-fifteen minutes long. That makes them the ideal way to de-stress during an afternoon work break.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that, in some ways, technology has made workplaces more stressful than ever. But, as you can see from these potential calming benefits, it is possible to balance things out. And, with new calming tech coming out all the time, this is a situation which looks set to keep getting better.

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