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Bad Tech Causes 'Web Stress' For European Workers

‘Web stress’ has become a major source of frustration in the European work place. It can dent morale, cut productivity and even led to resignations. But the UK has the worst of it, according to new research from software giant CA.

Workers feel ‘web stress’ when their online applications don’t work as well as they should and the effect is rampant throughout the continent, the new research shows.

The CA study asked 1,015 workers across Europe how they felt about their work’s web-based technology. The results were pretty bleak.

In the UK, 60 percent of workers claimed to be frequently “frustrated or angry” at their poor performing web applications, the report showed. Germany was close behind with 57 percent being stressed out, while France, Spain and Italy were all in the low 40-percent range.

Of the stressed-out British workers, 69 percent viewed their employer negatively because of bad technology. Thirty six percent said they would actually consider leaving because of it, according to the study.

Work-related stress in the EU runs to around $28.2 billion per year, the study said, which is making some companies sit up and take notice of the ‘web stress’ phenomenon.

Woman using a computer
Woman using a computer

“Web applications are centre-stage in most organizations … They are business-critical so when they underperform, productivity and morale suffer and there are immediate consequences for the organization,” Kobi Korsah, director of EMEA product marketing at CA, said in a statement.

Nearly two thirds of workers said they rely on web applications more now than two years ago. And practically all of the respondents said they wouldn’t be able to do their job without them, the report said.

Meanwhile, employees’ patience with the technology is running short. An application is only given 10 seconds to respond, according to 17 percent of workers asked by CA.

The impact of the bad technology on workers is detrimental, according to the report. Eighty one percent said it wasted their time and cost productivity. And 60 percent said it made them angry, with 47 percent claiming reduced job satisfaction.

“Organizations expect staff to be efficient and productive at work, but when IT systems fail, employees get stressed and frustrated because they are prevented from carrying out even basic tasks,” Alexander Kjerulf, chief happiness officer of the Happy at Work Project, said.