Resolution on the Impact of Technostress

Resolution Number: RS21-424
May, 2021
Whereas: 
at SF State, technology is leveraged to provide students with accessible and equitable learning opportunities. Technology has helped us connect and communicate with each other as we work, teach, and learn remotely. However, it is essential that faculty, staff, and students are made aware of the potentially detrimental impact of technology on health and wellbeing and are encouraged to take steps to reduce the possible adverse side effects of technology by incorporating preventive measures in their everyday life; and
Whereas: 
technostress is defined as “any negative impact on attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or body physiology that is caused either directly or indirectly by technology” (Weil & Rosen, 1997, p. 5). The term was originally coined by Brod in 1984, who defined it as a “modern disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with the new computer technologies in a healthy manner” (p. 16). Physical symptoms of technostress may include, but are not limited to, headaches; difficulty sleeping; sore muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders; eyestrain; wrist issues; and dehydration. Psychological and emotional symptoms of technostress may include, but are not limited to, increased work errors, difficulty concentrating, low morale and confidence, impatience, anxiety, isolation, increased irritability and frustration; and
Whereas: 
technostress has been observed in students and faculty of higher education. It has been associated with varying characteristics (e.g., technostress creators and inhibitors) making technostress individual (Booker, Rebman, & Kitchens, 2014; Booker & Rebman, 2016). Recent research has identified more overall technostress perceived by faculty in a pre-during-COVID-19 pandemic time period (Boyer-Davis, 2020).
Whereas: 
technostress can be exacerbated due to remote work and remote instruction, factors including, but not limited to, challenges with computer and internet access, lack of ergonomically-sound home set up, and space constraints may cause further stress for our faculty and students; and
Whereas: 
technostress may be experienced in different ways by different people. Some community members may experience high levels of technostress, some may face different challenges, and some may not feel stressed at all and instead benefit from the increased flexibility of online learning. While technology may serve as an effective tool for eliminating barriers for people with disabilities, it may also be ineffective and increase barriers. Those who face difficultly in accessing high broadband internet, a webcam, or a computer may experience additional technology-related stress; and
Whereas: 
At San Francisco State University, we have taken many steps to assist our faculty, staff, and students to adapt to remote work and technology use, including but not limited to, faculty and staff wellness programs that provide virtual opportunities for participating in fitness programs offered by the Department of Kinesiology, ergonomics assessment and support for home workplace offered by enterprise risk management, and working remotely tools and tips offered by Human Resources.
Whereas: 
faculty, staff and students can take steps to reduce the negative impact of technology in remote work and learning contexts; therefore, be it
Resolved: 
that greater efforts are made to support all members of campus to monitor and manage technostress through elevated internal communication and professional development. Faculty, staff, and students should be taught how to monitor the physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms associated with frequent technology use, specific strategies to manage those symptoms, and strategies to prevent technostress and optimize health; and be it further
Resolved: 
that members of campus experiencing technostress are encouraged to limit technology use to essential work, school, and personal activities and disable non-essential notifications from mobile devices (e.g., cell phones) if they so choose., If it is possible to accomplish educational and work outcomes through tools other than some form of a computer, doing so may decrease technostress. Scheduling intermittent breaks during class and work time that may include stretches, breathing exercises, mindfulness and meditation, expansive postures, and vision breaks could also be beneficial. Natural light may lessen the effects of technostress, if it is available; and be it further
Resolved: 
that, to the extent possible, information and other resources are provided to help campus members acquire and create ergonomically suitable furniture and tools. These resources include, but are not limited to, the ergonomics program in the Enterprise Risk Management department, support offered to staff and faculty through the Human Resources Employee Assistance Program, as well as accommodations provided by Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC); and be it further
Resolved: 
that greater research will be conducted among students, faculty, and staff to examine the consequences of technology during and after the pandemic. It is important to understand how the use of technology enabled education impacts the various stakeholders at San Francisco State University.
Resolved: 
Booker, Q.E., Rebman, C.M., & Kitchens, F.L. (2014). A model for testing technostress in the online education environment: An exploratory study. Issues in Information Systems, 15(2), 214-222. https://doi.org/10.48009/2_iis_2014_214-222
Resolved: 
Booker, Q.E., & Rebman, C.M. (2016, November 19-22). The relationship between technostress creators and online education among students [Paper presentation]. 2016 Annual Meeting of the Decision of Sciences Institute Proceedings, Austin, TX, United States. https://www.tecnostress.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/The-Relationship-between-Technostress.pdf
Resolved: 
Boyer-Davis, S. (2020). Technostress in higher education: An examination of faculty perceptions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business and Accounting, 13(1), 42-58. http://asbbs.org/files/2020/JBA_Vol_13.1_Fall_2020.pdf#page=42
Resolved: 
Brivio, E., Gaudioso, F., Vergine, I., Mirizzi, C. R., Reina, C., Stellari, A., & Galimberti, C. (2018). Preventing technostress through positive technology. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2569. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02569
Resolved: 
Brod, C. (1984). Technostress: The human cost of the computer revolution. Addison-Wesley.
Resolved: 
Chiappetta, M. (2017). The Technostress: Definition, symptoms and risk prevention. Senses & Sciences, 4(1), 358-361. http://dx.doi.org/10.14616/sands-2017-1-358361
Resolved: 
Dragano, N., & Lunau, T. (July 2020). Technostress at work and mental health: Concepts and research results. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 33(4), 407-413. https://www.doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0000000000000613
Resolved: 
Peper, E., Harvey, R., & Faass, N. (2020). Tech stress: How technology is hijacking our lives, strategies for coping, and pragmatic ergonomics. North Atlantic Books.
Resolved: 
Tahmaseb-McConatha, J. (2019, August 27). Coping with technostress. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/live-long-and-prosper/201908/coping-technostress
Resolved: 
Campus Resources; Enterprise Risk Management on Ergonomics: https://erm.sfsu.edu/content/ergonomics; Human Resources tips for working remotely: https://hr.sfsu.edu/working-remotely-tips-and-resources; Disability Programs and Resource Center: https://access.sfsu.edu