Software Solutions: Techno Stress in the Workplace
- By Mike Flory, Maribeth Kuxmeski
- Mar 01, 2005
As we examine recent advances in technology, we also should note the profound effects that have occurred in the workplace: specifically on how the frequent use of technology has had an impact on the basic stressors in the work environment. This new phenomenon is called, "Techno Stress."
The relationship between the use of technology and added stress in the workplace is very common. There have been books, television documentaries and medical articles dedicated to researching this new phenomenon. During my research on the Internet for this article, I discovered www.technostress.com, a comprehensive Web site that provides an overview of technology and stress and how it relates to all aspects of life, including the workplace.
Just as interesting was a study that was published in the United Kingdom, that demonstrated increased stress in the workplace was not to be blamed primarily on techno stress (computers, cell phones, high phone systems, etc.). The survey, conducted to support National Stress Awareness Day Nov.1 shows the nightmare vision of electronic overload pushing stress levels to the limits has failed to materialize. More than half of those interviewed from the UK survey strongly disagreed that new technology was the cause of workplace stress. In fact, a third of all workers believe that their quality of life has been improved by e-technology (International Stress Management Association, UK (ISMA) and Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA, www.isma.org.uk/pr06).
It is imperative to the success of any business to have its technological engines running efficiently 100 percent of the time.
Let's take this one step further, and look at Techno Stress in the home health care arena. It is important to understand that with the implementation of a wide variety of practice management systems, billing software, denial management software and other miscellaneous products, there can be no question of added stressors from the over utilization or misuse of these applications. Management and the general workforce must rely on these systems as they relate to career performance, achieving company goals and managing daily user experience.
When surveying your business technology platform for Techno Stress, you must ask your managers and staff some very important questions.
- Can you fully utilize your current technology systems and tools?
- Is the user experience causing information overload or adding additional stress to your workplace resulting in reduced productivity?
- What additional technological resources are needed to ensure that the company's goals are achieved?
- Do you have the suitable workspace with special attention toward decreasing techno stress (adequate hardware/software, noise levels, ergonomics and training)?
Once you have reviewed your survey results, you may have to make some operational changes to reduce the techno stress so that you can achieve optimal performance by your management and staff in your workplace.
To compound our industries technological dilemma, we have continued to observe the ongoing trend of "reduced reimbursement and increased operating costs". Moreover, it is imperative to the success of any business that wants to compete in this market to have its technological engines running efficiently 100 percent of the time.
In fact, as the pressure to maintain optimal performance continues, there has been a new generation of specialized medical software products developed with the sole purpose of providing management and staff with a user-friendly, reduced techno stress experience. These software products focus on optimizing staff time management, ease of use, technological excellence, specialized health care management reporting, and specifically, collecting cash and reducing DSO?one of the key determining factors for the success or failure of any business.
In summarizing technology and stress in the workplace, it is my opinion that technology can help reduce stress in the workplace as opposed to adding to it, as long as it is maintained and managed by its users. Lastly, as we live in an age where a New York minute is considered too slow and we need everything yesterday, we must remember that stressors are a part of life in general and must be managed by each person. It is easy to point a finger at technology as the root cause of ones inability to function in the workplace, but think again. Technology can enhance our ability to change, but only if a person can resist it.
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of HME Business.
Mike Flory is president of Environmental Educational and Consulting Services, a 16-year-old company based in Missouri City, Texas, that specializes in training and consulting for the fields of environmental, safety, health and security. The firm specializes in water and the wastewater industry. For more information, contact Mike Flory at (281) 261-6340.
Maribeth Kuzmeski, MBA, is the author of Red Zone Marketing, a book of football-inspired strategies for staying ahead of your competitors in a nail-biting business environment. She also is an accomplished speaker, marketing consultant and business owner. Contact Kuzmeski at (828) 459-9637.