It’s tough being an employee these days.
As much as technology has managed to make our lives more efficient, productive and enjoyable, the cost of progress may be impacting our health in a way we could have never imagined.
Advances in technology didn’t remove the pressures of tight deadlines, demanding and grumpy bosses, gossiping employees, or help with to-do lists that grow by the hour.
Couple this with the demands of maintaining a gratifying personal life and it’s no wonder we slam the snooze button twice before rolling out of bed. Long gone are the days when we were passionate about work.
However, technology is not the demon some may make it out to be even if we do text more than we talk. It has indeed made our lives more comfortable, but at what cost?
Asana, Outlook, Slack, Trello, and Zoom allow us to communicate with each other quicker and across multiple time zones. Such tools have also allowed is for employee disengagement.
Yes, we can take more control of our environment with these tools, but they continue to fall short of the increasing demands of work and do not appear to reduce stress even though they are often sold as the answer to the majority of operational problems in the workplace.
Could there be a missing element we’ve overlooked when we stopped, or drastically reduced, the knee-to-knee, eyeball-to-eyeball type of interaction that was all too common in recent history?
When nurturing interpersonal relationships in the workplace is an afterthought or not respected as a valuable component of workplace wellness, employees eventually shut down. Being passionate about our jobs all but disintegrates.
It’s no wonder that employees complain of being stressed, bored, tired, and lacking a general excitement towards work. We wake up every Monday and go through the motions for five straight days without really investing ourselves emotionally in an environment where we spend 1/3 of our lives.
A 2017 report, published by the American Psychological Association, cited work stress among the top stressors experienced by Americans. It accounted for 61% of reported stress.
Unfortunately, the needle hadn’t moved much over the last decade. Study respondents reported losing sleep, being anxious or nervous, feeling irritable, anger or fatigue due to stress.