The Impact of Technology on Workplace Stress
What is stress? "Stress is tension from extraordinary demands, constraints, or opportunities" (Organizational Behavior 165). There are many factors in our daily lives that cause stress, but how does technology affect stress? Does it affect it positively or negatively? Is there anything unethical about the technology and the way it is utilized? Through an exploration of Company A, one will see both the positive and negative impacts of technology on workplace stress and discover some of the underlying ethical issues involved. Company A utilizes various types of technology, from pagers and cell phones to personal computers and numerous types of technical software. In the article, "Workplace Depression Blamed on IT Stress", David Wiliamson states, "Technology designed to help people work efficiently is now forcing employees into a state of digital depression' " (Williamson 9). In the article, Williamson also refers to a study done by Dr. Peter Honey in which Honey states, "Employees don't feel they can escape anymore" (9). Within Company A, employees and subcontractors utilize cell phones, pagers, radios, and e-mail. As such, employees are rarely unavailable and it is not uncommon to be interrupted during one's lunch hour. While this inability to "escape" may cause stress, these same types of technology can assist in relieving stress. For those who travel, cell phones can provide a feeling of safety since help can be a phone call away when one's car breaks down. E-mail and cell phones can both assist in keeping one in touch with the office. For working parents, there is comfort in knowing that one's children or family will always be able to have contact in case of emergency. Each of these uses can assist in the reduction of stress. Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation, identifies another factor regarding technology that may increase stress. In an article published by Business Wire, Mulcahy...
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