Lifestyle

Work from home: how to fight technostress

Vanessa Ferguson, senior vice president of people and experience at Melbourne-based software company LiveTiles, says working for a technology-based company didn’t hurt her by the stressors that technology could bring.

“We’ve always been enthusiastic about new technologies, so I have a high level of comfort when it comes to using all kinds of platforms,” she says. “But I personally feel the technology overload, so I can only imagine how people outside the industry are dealing with it.”

Ferguson also said that the sudden adoption of mainstream technology “has led to the misunderstanding that quick response to email reflects your abilities,” LiveTiles stressed employees on this issue. We are implementing a strategy to mitigate.

Reeva Lederman, Faculty of Engineering, University of Melbourne, says technostress can also affect highly skilled professionals and those who are accustomed to working with technology for work.

“It’s not about your technical skills or your ability to use them. The problem is your reaction to the technical stimulus, it’s your personality,” she says.

People with a creative personality often find technology a “disturbance that gets in the way of their work,” while other personalities, such as diplomats, “love the technology environment. It fosters the need for stimulation.” He says.

The transition to telecommuting is a difficult transition for people working in industries that rely on being “seen” in the workplace, such as law and finance, and Professor Lederman said it could create another type of technostress. I am.

“For young attorneys and financial professionals who are accustomed to staying in the office 14 hours a day, what they see at the desk gives them the credibility of the office,” she says. “Now that all work communication is done online, such people are online to notice to make sure everyone knows that they are working hard. I realize I have to make a lot of noise. “

Psychiatrist and professor of Monash University, Jayashri Kurkarni, said some older people feel like a failure due to the sudden shift to working from home.

“Many people feel like they’re out of step with the modern world,” she says. “The other day, a patient said,” It’s time to go, I don’t understand this world anymore. “

Today, most communications are online, so you need to tailor your behavior to the viewers on your screen.

Professor Kulkarni states that for many, learning these new rules of online etiquette and interaction is not easy and can contribute to stress.

“There is also a sense of unreality when interacting through the screen. We are accustomed to humans interacting in a nonverbal way. It is intangible and difficult to explain, but it is still essential to communication. “

Reliance on technology also challenges what constitutes good behavior during online meetings and what does not. For some, turning off the camera during a zoom meeting is the same as rotating a chair during a physical meeting. For others, we need to help regain the similarity between privacy and comfort.

“Whether the camera is on or off is the etiquette of the zoom conference,” says Ferguson. “I will do it myself [have the camera off] It goes without saying that you should put on make-up, especially when you hardly wake up at a meeting at 6:45 am. “

Still, it’s true that some people find the online environment particularly useful. Also, in a sense, the invasion of technology into our personal lives has removed the barriers between personal and work life.

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“For many managers, this is the first time they have gained insight into people’s personal lives, and the first time they have seen employees interact with their children and partners,” says Professor Leberman.

“This leads to an increased understanding that people are living a life other than work that never disappears.”

How to fight technostress

Reeva Lederman of the University of Melbourne offers the following suggestions to the workplace and individuals:

workplace

  • Create a “virtual water cooler” to help workers see technology as a positive tool and a place for happiness.
  • Provide support and training for telecommuting tools and don’t expect people to train on their own.

Individual

  • Talk to your boss about how time and means of communication are most effective for you.
  • Plan your work days so that you have a block of time without zoom for intensive work.
  • If you’re working from home and you’re getting a lot of email, set up a folder to manage them so you don’t always have to worry about missed or unreplied emails.
  • Do non-electronic things during breaks.

Caroline is a contributor to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Work from home: how to fight technostress

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