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East Anglia Future 50

East Anglian workers getting stressed over tech

PUBLISHED: 16:20 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 23 April 2019

Insurance brokers Willis Towers Watson's Ipswich office. The firm has conducted research in stress caused by technology
Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Insurance brokers Willis Towers Watson's Ipswich office. The firm has conducted research in stress caused by technology Picture: DAVID VINCENT

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Are you struggling to cope with rapidly-changing technology at work?

Mike Blake, wellbing lead at insurance brokers Willis Towers Watson, says office technology can be a blessing and a curse
Picture: WILLIS TOWERS WATSONMike Blake, wellbing lead at insurance brokers Willis Towers Watson, says office technology can be a blessing and a curse Picture: WILLIS TOWERS WATSON

Almost a third of East Anglian employees (30%) say workplace technology – from computer software to mobiles – increases job stress, according to new research.

Research from global insurance broker Willis Towers Watson revealed that a lack of tech reliability was given as the main reason for this by 46% of survey respondents, followed closely by the claim that it had led to a lack of human interaction (43%).

Willis Towers Watson has a major presence in Suffolk with its landmark glass office building in Princes Street, Ipswich.

Other problems with technology highlighted by those surveyed included a triggering of tighter deadlines (36%), a heightening of workload (36%) and excessive levels of complexity (36%).

“Technology can be a considerable force for good with the potential to act as a catalyst for smarter, more efficient and more flexible working,” said Mike Blake, wellbeing lead at Willis Towers Watson.

“Despite offering a wealth of opportunities to improve our working lives, however – simplifying and, in some cases, eradicating many mundane or laborious tasks – these findings highlight that, in some cases, it can be both a blessing and a curse.

“The drive to introduce new technology is inevitable as businesses search for more efficient ways of working, but these findings should act as a call to action to ensure it is adopted strategically, and deployed with appropriate levels of support, training and consideration to the mental wellbeing of users.

“As part of this process, consultation with staff about the tools and technologies that they need to carry out their jobs more confidently and effectively may prove beneficial in helping smooth the transition to new, improved, ways of working.”

Encouragingly, almost a half of East Anglian workers have tackled the tech stress burden by consulting colleagues who have the requisite know-how, while 14% have asked for support or training from management.

But 18% said they coped by working longer hours, another 18% have avoided or delayed tech-based tasks and a further 18% have opted to delegate tech-based tasks to colleagues.

Only 9% of East Anglian workers said technology decreased their workplace stress, with half of these respondents saying it helped them work more efficiently.

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