The technology industry is fast-paced and continually evolving. The pressure and need to constantly innovate creates a working environment where employees are continually pushed to the limit. There are many different factors that lead to the industry being regarded as a stressful environment. Some of the most common causes of stress in tech roles include:
- A great deal of pressure placed on providing a consistent and reliable service.
- Individual, team or business targets.
- A fast-paced and continually evolving industry.
- A need to resolve problems immediately.
- The need for a 24-hour service, requiring some employees to work a night shift.
- Challenging working environments such as small and/or warm rooms.
- New communication channels can leave people feeling alienated or isolated.
All of these factors can impact on the level of stress that an individual faces at work, and it is common for an employee to face a number of these issues. There is therefore an onus on firms to be proactive in caring for their employees.
How does stress affect our ability to do our job?
Stress can leave you feeling ill, which could cause you to take sick days. This can further increase the pressure on you when you return to work, or it can impact on the relationship between employer and employee. Stress can impact on people’s sleeping habits, leaving them feeling tired at work. This can lead to people making poor decisions, feeling irritable or being unable to communicate effectively. All of these outcomes can cause people to be far from their best in the workplace, which means stress can greatly affect people’s ability to do their job.
With stress affecting employees and employers, businesses should be more proactive in caring for their workers. Here are steps that companies can take to reduce stress levels in their staff members.
Provide a more suitable working environment
Given the location where the staff work is often a factor in feeling stressed, employers need to provide a solution. Requirements regarding security, size and temperature may lead to staff being housed in small and distant rooms, with no windows or immediate access to the outside world. This can heighten a sense of alienation or anxiety, so employers should look to brighten up working surroundings or provide employees with a brighter and more spacious area.
Provide opportunities to let off steam
Given that the associated pressures of the job and a sense of isolation or alienation are key factors in many people feeling stressed in the technology sector, it is important for firms to tackle these matters. There is a need for firms to recognise the good work being undertaken by their staff members, acknowledging their work and providing a chance for people to unwind with their peers.
Even if a firm has a small number of staff, operating in shifts and integrating the support staff with other team members will be of benefit. Encouraging support staff to socialise or meet with other departments and employees can help these employees to feel appreciated and valued in the workplace.
Be aware of how people cope with stress
When people suffer from stress, it is natural that they turn to solutions that they think will provide a release. There are many ways that people can destress or relax, but it is common for people to turn to tobacco or alcohol. Within reason, this can provide a psychological break from the stress of work and provide a social engagement that allows people to put their working process far from their mind.
However, some people find that they turn to alcohol or even substance abuse in an attempt to cope with stress, and this is something that can pose problems for the individual, their family, loved ones and even their colleagues. Ultimately, it may pose problems for their employer as well.
One solution for monitoring this potential issue is to undertake a regular oral fluid lab test. This type of test is recognised as a fast, effective and secure process of reviewing employees. Studies indicate that this style of testing is comparable with urine testing in a laboratory environment, and depending on the substance, can be a more effective form of monitoring substance abuse.
With employers having a duty of care for their staff members, and a desire to ensure that the working environment is safe and productive, this form of testing can form part of a firm’s anti-stress activities.
Stress is a major concern for businesses these days, and companies operating in the technology industry may be more affected than other firms. This means that firms in this sector need to monitor staff, know how to spot signs of stress, and provide solutions that minimise employees’ stress levels.