Many years ago, technology wasn’t a common feature of everyday life, however for modern day office workers, the loading times, bad internet connections and blue screens of death are something that irritates us on a daily basis. Although many people don’t realise, stress is a very common and very unpleasant illness that has close links to depression and anxiety.
When it comes to technology causing stress, it is something that is common in all age groups. Teens for example have a lot more social stress due to constant scrutiny through social media, it also opens up more channels through which bullying can occur. Furthermore issues like video gaming addiction can cause stress when a dependency to a certain kind of technology is no longer available to us, (for example when an online game server goes down and we can’t play).
The main issue with stress in an IT based workplace however is downtime. People don’t often realise how much they depend on technology to get their workload done. Accountants use calculators and spread sheets, Marketers use emails and the list goes on. However when we depend so much on our technology and for whatever reason it doesn’t work, then we feel helpless and frustrated.
Imagine having to send a report to your boss before a deadline given by him, but the office internet is down, or your computer crashes, although it’s rather a simple problem, it is often the case that you can’t do anything about it. In turn we push our stresses on to the person who is employed to keep the systems running smoothly as though it where there fault.
In fact these machines are just that machines, they always are going to have problems because if they didn’t there wouldn’t be IT guys to have to fix them. The main thing we can do to reduce this stress is to treat our work laptop or other technology with respect and look after it. Another important step however is to learn not to depend on it too much. Marketers need to pick up the phone, accountants need to train their mental arithmetic and designers need to know how to draw with pen and paper.
If you want to take control of your tech habits, there are a few easy steps you can take. Getting flooded with data is a bad habit, surfing gossip websites, clicking through images of cats and other funny animals, is keeping us awake and is wasting our time. Accept that you can’t know all the gossip and talk about it in person with your colleagues to make sure that you get someone else’s opinion on it too.
Make sure you aren’t using the internet as a distraction from your real work. If you are wasting time online, and not getting your work done, you will not leave yourself enough time to get the job you are supposed to do done, meaning you will stress yourself with a tight deadline.
When it comes to social strains of the internet, try not relying on social media for your daily dose of interaction. You never see people’s facial expressions this way and you will be worried if what they are typing to you is what they really mean. Why not try deleting your social media account and talking to people in person? Make sure you are actually spending time with the people you like rather than “Poking them”.
If all the tech that you are surrounding yourself with is too much, simply trying to find a way to unplug will help you get away from it all. Try a few things out, read a book, go for a run. This way you will learn what works best for you and it won’t be a stressful waste of time.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Bernard Goldbach