Digital Technologies Can Cause Higher Stress Levels, ILO Cautions

By Chinyere Bassey

Lagos  –    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Friday said that though digital technologies had positive qualities, it could potentially result in longer working hours, higher work intensity and work-home interference.

The ILO in its daily report says that with modern technology, there is a tendency to work longer hours, and for paid work and personal life to overlap leading to high levels of stress.

It noted that digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desk computers were fast transforming the traditional model of work.

“The use of modern communication technologies facilitates a better overall worklife balance but also blurs the boundaries between work and personal life depending on the place of work and the characteristics of different occupations.’’

The ILO report says that it is important to address the issue of supplemental work performed through modern communications technology, such as working from home which can be viewed as unpaid overtime.

It said that minimum rest periods must be respected in order to avoid negative effects on workers’ health and well-being.

The labour organisation stressed that the use of digital technologies could improve worklife balance, reduce commuting time and boost productivity.

According to its report, a number of positive effects of Telework and ICT-Mobile work such as greater working time autonomy lead to more flexibility in terms of working time organisation.

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