The recent economic downturn has American workers stressed, overworked, and anxious, but many are turning to technology to help them cope. Workers are using technology to stay connected (sometimes even secretly), work harder, and maintain job security to survive the economic recovery, according to a survey by InterCall, a conferencing and collaboration services provider.
Take note managers: Nearly one in two Americans (48 percent) who use technology in their everyday jobs say that they are now required to do more work with fewer resources because of the current economic climate. Nearly one-third (30 percent), for example, feel that they need to stay connected to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even during weekends, breaks, or holidays. However, 72 percent say that advanced technology, such as conferencing and collaboration tools, enables them to work faster, better, and improves their morale because they see the company providing them with the right resources and tools to do more with less.
While the economic climate has even driven workers to use conferencing from locations they don't want their boss to know about, there is good news for stressed employees. Advanced technology makes it easy for most workers to feel connected anytime (80 percent) which is important considering almost one in four employees (24 percent) fear that if they don't stay connected to their work during their time off, they might be seen as less committed to their jobs.
"Despite the incredible pressure facing American workers, they value technology and the tools that keep them easily connected as an important resource to ease their anxiety about their job," said Kathleen Finato, InterCall’s senior vice president of marketing and product management. "Companies can really impact overall morale and enhance employees' job performance simply by providing their employees with the appropriate devices and services that will make them feel empowered."
The survey polled 2,500 knowledge workers in March about their attitudes and behaviors as they relate to technology in the workplace, as well as new trends in the down economy. Additional findings from the survey include:
- Increased productivity – More than four out of five workers (81 percent) say technology helps them be more efficient.
- Job security – One-fourth (25 percent) of workers say their job security is partially dependent on their supervisor seeing they are connected to work even after hours.
- Men are sneakier – Men are twice as likely as women to conduct business from locations they choose not to disclose to their bosses, colleagues, and customers.
- Competition in the workplace – Three in five workers (58 percent) say technology gives them a competitive edge over colleagues in the office.
- Comfort rules – Some employees (5 percent) even use conferencing to take meetings so they can wear what they want and avoid wearing typical meeting attire such as suits, ties, or even shoes.
The survey, commissioned by InterCall, was conducted by TNS, an independent research company in March, with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 at the 95 percent confidence level for American workers who use technology in their everyday work (1,924).