MORE than a quarter (27 per cent) of North West employees say workplace technology – from computer software to mobile tech – increases job stress, research from Willis Towers Watson has revealed.

A heightening of workload was cited as the main reason for this by 42 per cent of survey respondents, followed by a lack of tech reliability (39 per cent).

Other shadow sides of technology highlighted by North West workers included a triggering of tighter deadlines (35 per cent), a lack of human interaction (29 per cent) and excessive levels of complexity (18 per cent).

“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 quarter (24 per cent) of North West workers have tackled the tech stress burden by consulting colleagues who have the requisite know-how, while 23 per cent have asked for support or training from management.

Forty-one per cent, however, said they coped by working longer hours, 14 per cent have avoided or delayed tech-based tasks and a further 11 per cent delegated tech-based tasks to colleagues.

Just one in ten (10 per cent) of North West workers said technology decreased their workplace stress, with more than half (58 per cent) of these respondents saying it made information more accessible.