Outdated and inadequate technology is causing widespread job dissatisfaction, and might explain why you’re feeling so burnt out and unproductive these days, according to Staples’ Advantage Workplace Index.

Up-to-date technology is a major factor when it comes to productivity, according to the report.

“Our research confirms that not only does inadequate technology place companies at a competitive disadvantage, it also demotivates staff and contributes to inefficient working and higher staff churn,” states the report. “These factors can also impact the hours people need to work, contributing to employee burnout and, in some cases, to actual illness.”

While updated and efficient technology contributes to employee satisfaction, it is also a major cause of potential burnout. Smartphones, tablets, and new wearable technology provide non-stop access to emails, work reminders, and documents. It can feel like work hours never really end.

Forty-nine per cent of employees say that they feel burnt out, yet 89 per cent still report feeling happy in their jobs. Scott D’Cunha, vice president of marketing, ecommerce and communications at Staples Advantage Canada, explains that this paradoxical statistic is the product of the society that we live in.

“It’s probably a result of our changing workforce and demographics,” he says. “The number of millennials in the workforce is higher than it’s ever been, and they are simply used to working all the time.”

Millennials grew up surrounded by technology, so it is not unusual for them to be exposed to it at all hours of the day. In fact, they might even secretly like it. For most millennials, cutting edge technology is a must have, as they are the driving force behind the demand to stay current.

Technology may be a double-edged sword in many aspects, but D’Cunha thinks that the benefits outweigh the shortcomings. Flexibility is something valued highly by Canadian workers, and technology can provide a means of achieving it. With structure and purpose, employers can avoid imposing added pressure through technology, and instead use it as a mechanism for improving work conditions.

Technology enables employees to work outside the office and still stay engaged with the organization.This freedom can lead to increased productivity and happiness, giving employees incentive to remain loyal.

For employers looking to address the issue of burnout, D’Cunha suggests:

  • Looking at how to provide opportunity for employees to have flexible schedules
  • Find a way to promote breaks throughout the day and reduce screen time
  • Invest in new technology for the use of employees

All of these solutions are directly related to the implementation of effective technologies. Whether it’s allowing employees to work from home or providing them with new and interesting technology, flexibility is the key to keeping a fire burning inside the modern employee.

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