Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Communication Studies

Abstract

Stress has become a mass phenomenon in the modern workplace. The use of information and communication technologies is beginning to receive greater attention in the context of occupational stress. An exploratory qualitative study was conducted to examine both stressors and benefits resulting from technologies among practitioners in the advertising, public relations, and journalism industry in Hong Kong and Austria. Results suggest that technologies allow instant availability, which facilitates communication processes as well as information exchange. Notably, modern technologies enable employees to organize their work with greater temporal and spatial flexibility, thus creating an opportunity for better balancing work and private life. However, evolving technologies have come with a cost; the pressure to be constantly available via technologies constitutes a major source of stress, increasing the risk of experiencing prolonged work stress and its adverse consequences on employee health and well-being, such as a burnout. Furthermore, findings suggest that availability pressure may be attributed to an inner obligation rather than to an organizational expectation. Hence, making employees aware of their connectivity behaviour may help to diminish the experience of technology-induced work stress and improve and maintain employees’ health and well-being in the long term. Practical implications, limitations, and future research directions are provided.

Publication Year

2015

Journal Title

International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being

Volume number

10

Publisher

Co-Action Publishing

First Page (page number)

28838

Referreed

1

DOI

10.3402/qhw.v10.28838

ISSN (print)

17482623

Link to Publisher’s Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v10.28838

Keywords

Work-related technology use, ICT stressors, ICT benefits, work stress, burnout, employee health

Included in

Communication Commons

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