MGT 331 Organizational Behavior
October 23, 2003
From the beginning of my return to college at the University of Phoenix the debates over whether technology has increased or alleviated workplace stress are endless. One argument maintains that technology has created a more stressful work environment; electronic handcuffs that employees can never escape. Conversely many argue technology reduces workplace stress, allowing more efficient communications, enhanced learning and the ability to work from anywhere. Regardless, the management must be conscience of the ethical concerns involving the relationship between technology and workplace stress.
Due to high availability of information as result of technology the average employee "shift concepts at least seven to eight times per hour" this accumulates to a total of 60-70 times per day, each shift compiling workplace stress (Cryer, 1996). A barrage of phone calls, voicemails, emails, instant messages, meetings, videoconferences and physical requests that all must be responded to immediately, leave little or no time to focus and possibility to actually enjoy work.
Employees with mid-level jobs and especially managers most likely have a hard time feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, week, and year. Computers specifically have supposedly enabled us to multitask, or work on several things at once. "Many people simply cannot work enough hours to respond to all the information" (Cryer, 1996). It is the responsibility of management to set priorities for employees and provide them with avenues to deflect some requests, such as automated email response and voice mail.
Two components of technology that can also lead to workplace stress are the loss of privacy and surveillance by IT and management. Cell phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDA) ensure that employees are always accessible, even after hours and during vacation. These electronic handcuffs cause work factors and...