With the boundaries of work and life becoming increasingly blurred, employers and staff are being encouraged to agree policies to manage expectations of the potential 24/7 workload.
Examples of where this is already being addressed includes Brazil, where a new law passed at the end of last year allows people to charge overtime for calls taken out of hours. Similarly, German car manufacturer Volkswagen has also shut down its Blackberry service after working hours so employees do not feel obligated to answer email queries.
Joe Flintham, a Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media, who works with the Wellbeing team says, “Without doubt there are pros and cons to the technological advances that have been made in the last few decades but training and consultation are important when introducing new IT processes.”
People need to know how to get the most of the technology they are required to use as part of their working day. This means knowing how it helps them do their job, how to use it properly, but also when they can feel free to turn them off. Companies which have policies to support such activity are actively taking steps to promote employee wellbeing. The way that companies organise and develop their IT infrastructure can either greatly add to employee stress or can help to reduce and manage it positively.”
Businesses or organisations keen to manage the threat of technostress would benefit from working with the Wellbeing In Service Team who can provide flexible support through consultancy, research and Continuous Professional Development programmes.