Date Published: 07-11-2018

It’s International Stress Awareness Week, and this year’s focus is on technology, and more specifically, ‘Does Hi-Tech cause Hi-Stress?’

 

There’s no doubt that technology has changed the world, and I’m in no doubt that it has fundamentally changed recruitment within that. In many cases this is for the better, with candidates able to search for jobs 24/7, many of the non-human elements of the process now automated and the sheer volume of information available to people meaning it’s easier to make a more-informed decision. However, clearly technology can, and has, caused stress within the workplace and beyond.

 

In a world where we crave and have access to real-time information, are we now finding it more and more difficult to switch off and relax? The evidence suggests so. A recent ISMA Survey found that 55% of people think technology may affect their health and wellbeing. The same survey found that more than half of people say they have to check their emails or social media before going to sleep, and 28% saying they check their phone if they wake up in the night.

 

At Cooper Lomaz we fully embrace the positive impact technology can have of helping our candidates find jobs, and our clients find the best talent. It’s impossible to ignore the positives, but we also need to be wary of the negative impact technology can have on people, and in particular, on their Mental Health.

 

At Cooper Lomaz we’ve made Mental Health a business priority for 2019, and stress sits right at the heart of it. With recruitment, and many other sales jobs being heavily linked to stress as people work to often stretching targets, we are conscious that it is our responsibility to offer people the chance to talk about how they are feeling, whilst putting things in place to minimise the chance of them feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

 

Over the last couple of years we’ve pushed hard to create an environment to support this, and have made a number of changes which have made a difference. These include;
Reducing our working hours to increase the time spent out of the office
Introducing Gym lunches to give people a longer break
Training Mental Health First Aiders for our people to talk to
Breakout areas in each office to get away from their desks
Relaxing our dress code so people feel more comfortable

 

We will continue to look at ways we can reduce stress on our people as we move into 2019. However, with one of the easiest ways of doing this being introducing technology to reduce workloads, we need to be careful of it having the reverse affect.

 

It is clear that technology can cause stress. What is not clear is if we would be more stressed if technology wasn’t available.