We spend a significant portion of our waking hours at our workplace. The Mind the Workplace 2021 Report by Mental Health America has estimated that 9 out of 10 employees report that workplace stress affects their mental health. This is why addressing the psychological needs of the workforce is critical to all organizations. IT workers face this issue every day as their work has become more complex since the pandemic forced organizations to switch to remote/hybrid work environments.
To address the mental well-being of workers, we need to first understand the common factors that contribute to workplace stress. In this blog, we’ll explore the different workplace stressors and how you can take effective measures to overcome them.
Even before the pandemic, many IT employees faced an increased risk of burnout and degradation of mental well-being due to various stressors. The pandemic has only amplified these risks. Some of the common stressors are as follows:
- Lack of Time: IT professionals always race against time to get issues fixed. As a result, they are under constant pressure to get things done. When frustration keeps building up over not being able to finish work on time, it severely affects the mental well-being of IT workers. IT managers should get a realistic estimate of what can be achieved within a specific time frame. Overpromising on workloads sets unrealistic expectations from IT workers and leads to mental stress.
- Unclear Processes: Getting stressed over lack of time is bad enough, but when you throw vague and unclear processes into the mix, it only adds to the mental woes of IT professionals. Unclear processes like poor workflows, ambiguous roles, ineffective documentation, etc., can increase the stress on technicians’ mental well-being.
- Information Sprawl: The data generated in today’s IT environment is truly overwhelming. IT workers need information on endpoints, servers, networks, user passwords and more to perform their day-to-day tasks effectively. Poor documentation practices lead to inefficiency, which adds to the troubles of IT workers.
- Manual Processes: We live in the age of automation. Manual processes and efficiency do not go hand in hand. Technicians spend a significant part of their time every day on redundant, manual processes. You need the right tools to automate processes whenever you can. Failure to embrace automation will make you lose your competitive edge in the long run.
- Inefficient Tool Stack: IT managers and business leaders must make life easy for technicians by providing them with access to the right tools. When technicians get stuck with inefficient, legacy tools, they are prone to face quality issues, time management issues, mental stress and more. You need to periodically review your tool stack and make sure it is up to date.
- Organizational Culture: An unhealthy work culture that doesn’t value the well-being of workers can be extremely toxic. A negative culture can affect camaraderie between workers and force them to look for a way out. In such environments, the mental well-being of a person takes a backseat.
- Lack of Collaboration: In this age of remote work, collaboration challenges are extremely high even for IT workers. Poor documentation can also lead to a lack of collaboration. Outdated tools that don’t have a record of previous works can make things more complex and affect the productivity of IT workers.
- Lack of Reward or Acknowledgment: Spending multiple hours every week on a thankless job can take one to the brink of frustration. To prevent this, deserving workers should be compensated with the right kind of reward and acknowledgment.
Measures to Overcome Workplace Stress
IT managers and business leaders need to promote mental well-being at work through various fun activities and stress management programs. It is vital to create a system where workers feel safe and valued. Identify the problems your workers face frequently and try your best to help them manage these issues.
IT workers often get frustrated dealing with outdated tools and inefficient processes. IT managers must provide workers with the best tools possible in order to boost productivity and eliminate work pressure. In addition to that, the financial well-being of workers must also be safeguarded. With over 60% of workers not being paid well enough to save for an emergency, employers need to do their part by providing them with the right healthcare plans.
Smart documentation offers IT workers a great way to reduce their workload and become more efficient. We will discuss more on the benefits of smart documentation in our following posts. So, stay tuned.
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