What if you came to work one morning and found that your computer crashed or the internet was down? Could you work—or worse, survive? Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives that it’s hard to imagine life without it. According to Daily Mail, we spend half of our day, about 7 hours, using technology. It would not be outlandish to say that most job tasks could not be performed effectively or efficiently without the use of modern technology. While technology evolving makes life more convenient, it also brings a new sense of urgency and even adds stress, especially in the workplace.
One of the major sources of stress, brought on by technology, is the need to always be connected and available. Regardless of where you work, technology has made most employers a 24-hour operation. Even after leaving the office, work can follow you home. Having the ability to be connected around the clock makes it difficult to separate home life from work life. Workers may also feel more anxious if they are not connected because of information they may miss or if coworkers will be unable to reach them. With WiFi so prevalent, there are few places in our daily lives where we can truly disconnect.
Another type of stress occurs when there are problems with our computers such as technical glitches, viral infections, and long waits to fix support issues. Does the thought of using new software applications or new devices make your head spin? If so, you are not alone. As reported by Virgin Digital Help, over 60% of users find modern technology confusing. When presented with a list of possible technological issues, only 15.7% said they aren’t stressed by technology.
Lastly, stress can arise from simply trying to keep up with the constantly changing world of technology. In a matter of only a few months, a new version of an essential operating system or program can be released making the previous version obsolete. Software updates are so frequent, especially on mobile devices; it can be irritating and frustrating to maintain. However, neglecting updates may mean you’re missing out on important updates, which in turn can make it more difficult to update your devices further down the road. In all, technology can be stressful but not something to be ignored or left behind.
How Can We Try to Lessen the Burdens Brought on by Evolving Technology?
First and foremost, keep in mind that technology, like most things in life, is not perfect and expect it to fail at times. Be prepared for glitches. Keep all of your data backed up and constantly save your work! If possible, don’t wait until the last minute to finish up a report. Give yourself a little leeway in case problems do occur.
Set the Scene:
Make your office space an enjoyable setting. Change the background on your desktop to something calming or happy. Surround yourself with your favorite artworks or photographs. Keep a stress ball or puzzle nearby to distract you for a moment in case technology fails. Keep a pile of notes in your drawer from children or loved ones or write a few to your future stressed self to turn to when you need a pick-me-up.
Try your best to separate your work life from your home life. Let your coworkers know you will not be checking work emails until the following morning and come up with a plan for them to contact you if there is an emergency. Set a portion of your day aside to “unplug” from your gadgets. Try banning phones from the dinner table. Most importantly, schedule time each day to exercise or take a walk around your neighborhood.