Navigating Digital Leadership and Technostress

experiencing technostress

The term “technostress” was coined by psychologists Craig Brod and Thomas W. C. Shing in their paper titled “Technostress: The Human Cost of the Computer Revolution,” published in the early 1980s. Fast forward over 40 years, and the recognition of technostress and its impact on teams, particularly amid and post-pandemic, is gaining momentum among companies.

There is no arguing that Technostress occurs in the workplace. The psychological well-being of employees has been identified as closely linked to the emergence of technostress, a connection highlighted by Gragano et al. (2020). This stress not only affects mental health but also poses risks to physical well-being, including ergonomic risks. The introduction of technology in the workplace has elevated the risk of poor work body posture, influencing both workstation design and work body posture, as noted by Curbano (2019).

Technostress is also not confined to team members; leaders are now grappling with the challenge of navigating rapidly evolving technological developments. According to a survey by Harvard Business Publishing, being tech-savvy is among the top four business challenges requiring leadership development. The study reveals that 46% of leaders anticipate a growing need to adapt to emerging technologies, including generative AI.

As technology continues to permeate every aspect of our lives, stress stemming from it becomes inevitable. This leads to a critical question: how can leadership mitigate technostress, and what should we anticipate for the well-being of our people in the future?

To start, it’s essential to identify emerging technologies that leaders should be wary of, as these may contribute to technostress among their teams. While the list is not exhaustive, here are a few major technological innovations to watch out for:


Major Technological Innovations That Might Cause Technostress to Your Team

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

The rapid development of AI can induce stress among workers unfamiliar with AI tools, fuelled by the uncertainty of potential redundancy. Even though not all job functions can be replaced by AI, the lingering doubt can breed mistrust among team members, especially in organizations that have replaced or plan to replace workers with AI.

Internet of Things (IoT):

IoT can involve connecting workplace and home devices and streamlining tasks like controlling lights, TV, or phones through a single switch. While this enhances connectivity, it may backfire as work encroaches into personal life. For example, instant connectivity at home can lead to increased work-related calls, reducing time away from work and inevitably causing technostress.

Remote Work Medium:

Technologies supporting remote work, such as Zoom or other operational platforms can contribute to technostress when they break or malfunction. Remote work tools can also cause physical technostress. According to an article by Stanford News, videoconferencing typically involves cameras with a fixed field of view, requiring individuals to remain in a specific position. This limitation constrains natural movement in ways that may feel unnatural. (Stanford News, 2022).

Monitoring Technologies for Remote Work:

Implementing monitoring systems for team members can generate technostress, as it diminishes autonomy and raises concerns about job security. Constant surveillance at work can be a source of technostress for employees.

Big Data Analytics:

Professionals involved in handling and safeguarding big data may encounter technostress, especially in the IT sector. The privacy and security concerns inherent in analyzing and securing vast amounts of data can be particularly stressful for managers responsible for these tasks. As outlined in a publication from Jessup University, the large amount of data to analyze can be overwhelming for professionals working with big data, causing high stress levels. Moreover, the pressure intensifies due to the necessity of staying updated with continually evolving technologies and tools (Jessup, 2024).

Conversely, individuals who receive information derived from big data but lack understanding of the analysis process may feel left out. This lack of awareness can also contribute to stress among team members tasked with these responsibilities, as misunderstandings about the intricacies of the analysis process may arise.

If your organization utilizes these technological tools, it is essential to vigilantly monitor potential technostress within your team. To effectively manage and mitigate technostress, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with the various types it may manifest as:


Different Types of Technostress


Given the diverse types of technostress, it’s clear that its effects can be felt by nearly every employee. This underscores the importance for leaders to understand how to manage it effectively. This raises a fundamental question: What expectations should leaders have when addressing technostress within their teams?


What Leaders Should Expect from Their Team’s Technostress

Expect Technostress as a Regular Thing:

Leaders should understand that technostress is a common part of the stress employees face at work.

Expect That Technostress Occurs with Less Tech-Savvy Teams:

Teams with limited time and resources to learn technology may experience more technostress.

Expect Resistance:

Leaders need to know how to address resistance from their teams when introducing new technologies.

Expect Conflict:

As stress impacts everyone, conflicts may emerge among team members. Stress can lead to irritability, impatience, and confusion in an individual, consequently affecting the overall communication within your team.

Expect Physical Effects:

Technostress isn’t limited to causing mental health decline; it can also manifest through physical symptoms. Anticipate the possibility that team members may need to take leaves as a means of distancing themselves from technology.


How Leaders Can Assist in Navigating Technostress

Technostress remains a persistent challenge as long as your team engages with technology. Having covered specific expectations leaders should uphold regarding their team’s technostress, let’s explore some strategies to effectively alleviate it:

Understand Your Team’s Technology:

As a leader, it’s crucial to understand the technology your team uses. Without technological awareness, leaders may overlook the full impact of technology on operations and the people they manage.

Support Learning Opportunities:

Provide your team with time and resources to learn new technology. Investing in their skills helps alleviate stress associated with adapting to technological changes.

Monitor Stress Indicators:

Stay vigilant for physical indicators of stress associated with technology. Symptoms such as headaches, wrist or back pain, eye strain, heightened visual impairment, numbness, and a sensation of nausea may be common physical manifestations of technostress. Early recognition of these signs enables prompt intervention and support, fostering a healthier work environment

Workload Management:

Regularly assess the actual workload of your team and determine the extent to which they rely on technology. This helps in ensuring a balanced workload and prevents undue stress.

Alleviate Technostress with Leadership Development Training:

Establish comprehensive leadership development training programs designed to equip leaders with the skills needed to navigate technostress and understand its impact on individuals within their teams. As technostress may give rise to additional challenges, including conflict and communication problems stemming from technostress, targeted training initiatives are crucial.

In addition, leaders can harness learning and development programs to foster a mindset shift, encouraging their teams to embrace technology rather than perceive it as a stressor. Workshops addressing strategic thinking play a pivotal role in alleviating stress associated with technostress.

To bring these valuable learning and development opportunities to life, leaders can form partnerships with trusted talent development partners like Lee Hecht Harrison. By collaborating with such organizations, leaders ensure the effective implementation of programs that enhance their ability to navigate technostress and create a positive and adaptive work environment.

Curious to learn more about technostress and other learning and development programs? Reach out to us today and we’ll make sure your team embraces digital transformation.




Curbano, R. J. (2019). “Relationship Model of Technostress and Ergonomics Risk Factors in Call Center Industry.”

Gragano, A., Simbula, S., & Miglioretti, M. (2020). “Work-life balance: weighing the importance of work-family and work–health balance.”

Stanford News. (2022, February 23). “Four causes for ‘zoom fatigue’ and their solutions.” Available at:

Jessup University. (2024, January 2). “Is data analyst a stressful job? An in-depth look.,tools%20adds%20to%20the%20pressure.

DELMO, C., & DEQUITO, E. (2023). “A study on work-life balance, technostress creators and psychological well-being of librarians.”

Harvard Business Publishing. (2023, September 27). “Top 4 challenges requiring leadership development in 2024.”

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