Business competition is intense, and there’s an explosion of technology to help companies stay ahead. Making it all work depends on the ability of employees to cope and adapt to the changes. That’s a tall order for any company with a diverse age range of employees.

It helps to have a supportive vendor partner you can trust to give users quick answers to technology issues. For many small businesses without an information technology department or responsive vendor the business productivity can drag—too many of those days is never good for the bottom line.

What are the technology stress points?

Employee concerns include:

  • Almost daily software updates—some affecting the interface and impacting the user experience.
  • Popup reminders to update software that often interrupt work streams.
  • Malfunctions with marrying old with new technology.
  • Management expectations for increasing their work output.
  • Lack of training to keep up with the changes in systems, programs and methods.
  • Worry that technology will eliminate their job.
  • Fear tech changes will cause loss of work documents and research.
  • Human interaction being replaced by emails, voicemails, text messaging and video conferencing causing some employees to feel more stressed, alone and isolated.

Mobile devices—friend or foe? Both.

Cellphone value in the workplace is no longer a question—yet employers and employees know phones can kill productivity. A recent CareerBuilder survey shows that according to employers, the biggest technology related productivity problems are:

  • Cell phone/texting: 49%
  • Internet: 38%
  • Social media: 37%
  • Email: 29%

Another issue for both workers and management is use of mobile devices outside the office—but for different reasons. For management, mobile devices can create cyber security vulnerabilities. For employees, the virtual office-in-the-pocket means there’s no end-of-day to go home and get away from work. Now emails, phone calls, messages and documents can all be accessed and handled from remote locations at any time of day.

Tips for bringing down employee tech related stress.

Most employees expect changes in technology. Younger employees, especially millennials, welcome it the most. Resistance is a normal reaction to change. Fear of the unknown causes many employees to worry about losing their jobs if they’re unable to make quick adjustments.

Business leaders can help avoid the stress by:

  1. Introducing changes gradually. Letting employees know about new software programs or a cloud service, for example, allows them to have feedback and share ideas.
  2. Giving employees resources to prepare ahead of time for new developments. Offering training classes and other instructional materials builds confidence and reduces apprehensions.
  3. Allowing staff to take part in implementing the changes. Taking an active role makes them facilitators rather than passive observers.
  4. Recognizing that most employees have weaknesses in certain technology skills. Good training helps put everyone closer to the same level of skills and knowledge, builds confidence and increases the ability to work as a team or independently without constantly needing help from other more tech savvy workers.
  5. Encouraging employees to handle IT related problems quickly, even if they seem small. Small can be big! For example, it’s common for a computer to suddenly start to run slower than usual. It may just need basic maintenance, or it could be infected with malware.

Well managed technology increases profit opportunities.

Change is inevitable. So is resistance. Plan for both! Embrace new technology as an opportunity for greater productivity, efficiency and growth. If you are looking at business consultants, make sure to pick a team player responsive to your employees and business needs.

Workers will appreciate the perks that come from a company that thrives and they’ll take pride in being participants in your success!