Article Summary on Technology and Workplace Stress Essay Sample
The article chosen to summarize technology and workplace stress highlights “information technology and the role it is playing in reshaping organizations” and will emphasize three main points: a) the impacts of workplace stress in the information age; b) the emotional affects from stress and how it spreads throughout an organization; and c) the affects on an individuals immune system due to stress.
Technology has become increasingly prevalent in organizations and in our daily lives. Since technology in the workplace allows more efficiency, individuals often take on more office duties. The article suggests that technology is creating and alleviating workplace stress, yet businesses cannot sustain without it. The most stressful demand is the numerous changes in assignments. The average office worker must shift assignments seven to eight times per hour in a typical workday. The altering in shifts includes the following examples: responding to voicemail, email, Internet, fax, pagers, and cell phones. Additionally in alleviating workplace stress technological advancements allow us to perform multiple functions, help us to communicate more quickly and more efficiently, keep us better informed, and offer almost immediate feedback. Workplace stress is the sacrifice for the necessity of instantaneous information. As a result, workers often cope with stress by performing tasks that are urgent instead of doing the ones that are important.
The second main point of the article emphasizes the emotional affects from stress and how it proliferates throughout an organization. Comparable to a cold virus an “emotional virus” is highly infections. Individuals unable to cope with the factors of stress become emotionally drained and the people around them soon become infected. One example of an “emotional virus” is when one employee consistently complains and the other employee listening begins to take on that individuals attribute. Once the “virus” is recognized individuals are able to notice the symptoms of the infection in the organizational culture. The symptoms comprise of caustic humor, resentment, constant stream of complaints, and an “us vs. them” mentality. The negativity is heard in lunchrooms, by the water cooler or copier, and outside of the work environment. Also, the article indicates a cure for the “emotional virus” which is the development of the Inner Quality Management (IQM) technology.
IQM is a research-based program that is customized to fit an organization’s business objectives. The basic foundation of IQM is that when individuals operate at their greatest potential, the organization then maximizes its quality. Furthermore, IQM validates that individuals think and act smarter when synergy of intellectual, intuitive and emotional intelligence takes place. The IQM program teaches individuals practical tools to achieve and sustain high performance without drain and burnout. As the amount of information available continues to grow exponentially, and the use of technology increases, so will our stress from excessive information. The ability to step back and assess priorities in life will in turn give individuals the needed time to relax and increase vigilance. Motivating employees starts with motivating yourself. It is amazing how, if you hate your job, it seems like everyone else does, too. If you are very stressed out, it seems like everyone else is, too. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you’re enthusiastic about your job, it’s much easier for others to be, too. Also, if you’re doing a good job of taking care of yourself and your own job, you’ll have much clearer perspective on how others are doing in theirs.
The third main point indicated in this article illustrates how human bodies react to stress. The excess amount of stress creates a “noise” in the brains information process. The “noise” reduces an individual’s mental intelligence and decreases the immediate decision and reaction process. The increase in stress creates numerous health problems such as, frequent or prolonged illnesses and/or depression. In some instances, employees shut down mentally. Additionally, the antidepressant Prozac is now one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for office workers.
The article further highlights a landmark twenty-year study conducted by the University of London, which indicates, “unmanaged stress is a greater risk factor for cancer and heart disease then either cigarette smoking or diet.” Furthermore, unmanaged reactions to stressful events in life create a chain reaction that inhibits learning abilities and clouds one’s perceptions of life. For enterprises, the cost of stress is multifaceted. It can be reflected in absenteeism, higher medical costs and employee turnover, with associated cost of recruiting and treating new workers. The cost factors involved should be a good reason for employers to take effective steps in order to improve each identifiable situation (Cryer 1996).
Cryer, B., (1996). Neutralizing Workplace Stress: The Physiology of Human Performance and Organizational Effectiveness. Http://www.internetarticle-Stressfiles/neutrilize.html