STRESS LEVELS DUE TO TECHNOLOGY
Your Tax Shop based in Ashton under Lyne believes technology is playing a huge role in making business more efficient and it is adding to the flexibility that so many employees are looking for in their working lives. However, some people would argue that the ‘always on’ culture that is a side-effect from such advancements has in fact led to an increase in stress levels amongst workers. If you’re concerned about the impact of additional use of technology could have on your employee’s stress levels Your Tax Shop can advise there are a few steps you could take.
- – Look at the reason why your employees are working outside of their normal hours. Whilst some jobs will require an ‘on-call’ presence, many will not and therefore you should try to pinpoint the real reason. Do employees feel overworked and unable to get their job done in their normal working hours? Has an expectation been created for employees to respond immediately to an email received? Identifying the real reason will help to pinpoint ways to help resolve it.
- – Consider monitoring employees’ activity on personal work devices – done in line with laws on data protection – and stepping into if someone appears to be working excessively in their free time. Whilst staff may occasionally choose to use their mobile phones to work at home, it is important that you do not create any obligation for them to do so and specifically set out ‘switch off times’ after working hours where employees are expected to turn their work mobile phones and laptops off.
- – A key issue with reducing stress levels is that many employees tend to suffer in silence, meaning it can be difficult to judge who is struggling. Therefore, you should consider how to encourage staff to be open when they are feeling stressed and offer support to those employees who have confided that they are struggling.
- – From a wider perspective, it may also be useful for you to combat stress using external methods. Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can add a different dimension to an employer’s support because they offer access to expert counselling professionals who can give advice to employees who are suffering from stress in a way that employers themselves are not trained to.
Whilst employers may see the business benefits of having employees “switched on” all the time, we believe here at Your Tax Shop that it will pay off for them, in the long run, to consider the mental health of their employees and ensure that they have sufficient opportunity to rest away from work.