A new professional risk has spread rapidly in recent years in all types of companies. We are talking about techno-stress, a problem that can seriously affect workers and can entail great costs and consequences. Uninterrupted flows of emails, online meetings, calls, video calls, voice messages... at work our minds are increasingly connected to our devices. Therefore, without rules and without the proper "digital awareness", our psychophysical balance can be threatened.
In this Psychology-Online article we will explain everything you need to know about technostress: what it is, its causes, symptoms and how to prevent it.
- What is technostress
- Causes of technostress
- Symptoms of technostress
- Types of technostress
- How to prevent technostress
What is technostress?
The English word "technostress", coined in 1984 by Craig Brod, is understood as a stress syndromecaused by new technologies
Causes of technostress.
Stress manifests itself when the person must endure prolonged exposure to intense pressure. In this way, when this pressure becomes excessive, both in intensity and duration, the individual can manifest a condition of stress, often accompanied by disorders or dysfunctions of a physical, psychological or social nature.
In this sense, technostress or technological stress is a form of stress caused by excessive use, disproportionate and dysfunctional of modern technologies, with significant impacts on the social and work life of the individual. Therefore, we could relate the main causes of technostress with:
- Management of a large volume of information.
- Excessive use of technological devices.
- Rush in the execution of operations.
Other aspects that can influence the appearance of this pathology can be posture or work modalities such as smart working, that make technology their main tool.
Symptoms of technostress.
What causes technostress? The main symptoms of technological stress can be divided into two macrogroups:
- physical symptoms: among them we can find insomnia and sleep-wake rhythm disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, headache, chronic fatigue, increased heart rate, disorders cardiovascular disorders, tingling in the extremities, sweating, neck pain, hormonal and menstrual disorders in women, or stress-related skin disorders such as psoriasis or dermatitis.
- Mental or psychic symptoms (behavioral and cognitive): irritability, depression, behavior changes, decreased sexual desire, crying spells or apathy.
However, we must bear in mind that the symptomatology of technostress is subjective. In fact, on many occasions, the syndrome is not easily identified and runs the risk of degenerating to become a strong or total impediment in the development of daily activities and in the relational.
Types of technostress.
Exposure to technostress can cause some pathologies, which are manifested through recognizable symptoms and effects at various levels, causing different pathologies and disorders.
- Subjective: apathy, boredom, frustration, guilt, irritability, sadness, depression, panic attacks, euphoria, anxiety, fatigue.
- behavioral: eating behavior dysfunction, alcohol and drug use, excitability, restlessness, slurred speech, fits of rage, decreased desire, impatience towards other people, aggression, even passivity, tendency to isolate, inability to act.
- Cognitive: difficulty performing tasks, decision-making dysfunction, attention and concentration deficit, reduction and loss of efficacy, difficulty teamwork, mild amnesia, decreased intellectual functioning, increased sensitivity to criticism, distortions and misunderstandings of situations.
- Physiological: hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, migraine, excessive sweating, dry mouth, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, tingling in the extremities, back and chest pain, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, mental fatigue and disorders gastrointestinal.
- Organizational: absenteeism, low productivity, high accident rate, antagonism in the workplace, dissatisfaction, delay and malfunction in production, organizational and management processes.
How to prevent technostress.
As countless investigations on the subject show, the effects of technostress can seriously affect the physical and psychic plane of a person, as well as causing enormous productive, organizational and economic damage to the Business. For this reason, it is important to prevent technological stress and related manifestations.
Primary intervention measures to prevent technostress can develop at two levels:
- individual level: allows the worker to implement behaviors to change the situation (problem-solving strategies).
- organizational level: Decreasing the number of requests made to workers and implementing technical support and training on correct use.
How to deal with technostress
The meditation it is one of the most effective ways to prevent and combat techno-stress. The state of consciousness induced byMeditation helps reduce limbic system activity, which will mitigate emotions and, consequently, stress.
Therefore, companies and their collaborators could intervene with practices such as meditation, physical activity, regenerative breaks, holistic disciplines, yoga or other relaxation techniques such as training autogenous. These techniques slow down our thoughts and "calm and cool" our brain.
Likewise, it is essential that training is carried out to raise awareness of the problems that can be generated by the excess of new technologies in our lives.
This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
If you want to read more articles similar to Technostress: what it is, causes, symptoms and how to prevent it, we recommend that you enter our category of Social psychology.
- Politini, S. (2021). Tecnostress, when the improper use of digital in labor creates a problem. Recovered from: https://www.digital4.biz/hr/tecnostress-quando-luso-improprio-del-digitale-sul-lavoro-diventa-un-problema/
- Servidio, M. (2022). Tecnostress: è possibile ridurre il rischio? Recovered from: https://www.puntosicuro.it/rischio-psicosociale-stress-C-35/tecnostress-possibile-ridurre-il-rischio-AR-15803/
Technostress: what it is, causes, symptoms and how to prevent it