Computing technology has reached nearly every corner of modern life. In its study and article "Technology Increases Workplace Stress, Tipping the Scales of Work-Life Balance" ("Stress and Technology," 1999), the Kensington Technology Group highlights the inevitably wide-spread and profound impact of technology in the workplace.
The Kensington Stress and Technology in the Workplace Survey questioned 501 adult U.S. full-time, traditional and home-office workers about technology's affect on stress, productivity, and the personal lives of survey participants ("Stress and Technology," 1999). The data also highlights programs and policies employers take to reduce workplace stress. Kensington conducted the study as part of ongoing research into consumer needs in the workplace.
The study found that perceived productivity had increased dramatically over previous years. However, nearly half of those surveyed felt that technology increased stress. Fifty-one percent of workers surveyed reported stress from the possibility of lost work due to computer problems or from the demands of electronic communication ("Stress and Technology," 1999).
The demands from electronic communications include the deluge of e-mail messages both related and unrelated to work, voice mail, and a constant pressure to stay connected inside and outside of office hours. Technology provides employees, customers and entire organizations to disseminate information worldwide in real-time or near real-time. Technology and communication systems are often burdened with a volume of information that far exceeds the ability of organizations to manage it or employees to assess it. These stressors can lead to workers feeling pressured with too many demands on their time.
These issues, in turn, affect the overall level of stress in an employee's personal life. Maintaining the balance between ever-increasing demands at work and the need for a well-rounded life outside of the office provides additional stress for nearly 54 percent of workers, according to the study. The pressures...