Is Technology the Root of Your Employees' Unhappiness?

Joe Weinlick
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When you discover you have a frustrated team on your hands, you need to get to the heart of the matter quickly before morale plummets. Unfortunately, a technological solution may not be the most practical since high-tech tools might actually cause employee unhappiness. Find out why this is a problem and how to deal with it thanks to a few tips and tricks.

Fear of Automation

As with the use of any new technological tool, fear of automation may happen. Teem, a company that creates cloud-based meeting tools and analytics, released its 2017 Employee Happiness report. In it, 58 percent of millennials welcomed new technology into the workplace, especially if it made their jobs easier. That's because most of these workers grew up around technology, so their employee unhappiness may not be as prevalent as people who didn't start using technology at young ages. Just 33 percent of baby boomers felt excited about AI-type tools.

Rather than automate as much as possible, mitigate employee unhappiness by implementing tech solutions that make workers' lives easier and more comfortable. Show your team that new tools help them earn more customers and more money.


Try not to make these automated tools into a way of getting more work out of people. Text messages and emails from co-workers should not interfere with your team's lives at home. No one must feel obligated to respond to these messages in off-hours. Doing so wrecks the work-life balance that so many people aim to achieve, and it leads to anxiety and burnout.

Improve employee unhappiness by recognizing that when your team members are off the clock, they get to spend their free time as they see fit. You should not expect an immediate return of a phone call, text or email until the person clocks in the following day. Respect boundaries by letting your colleagues have their vacations and time off without being on call. Create an understanding that no one communicates with an employee off the clock unless it's an emergency.

Impersonal Technology

Although email, text messages and video conferencing lead to many great collaboration tools, it turns out that employees prefer in-person collaboration ahead of any other method. As many as 42 percent said they value in-person communication for their collaboration methods, with email second and over-the-phone third. Up to 40 percent of workers felt that technological communication tools gave them flexibility, but the tools should not usurp in-person communication.

Employee unhappiness doesn't have to take root due to your communication methods, especially if you recognize that your team values camaraderie and a sense of belonging. This means face-to-face chats, better interpersonal communication, improved and regular feedback, and making sure everyone feels like an important member of the team. This isn't to say everyone should get along all of the time, but your team members should all like each other enough to have a productive work environment.

There's no way to avoid employee unhappiness 100 percent of the time. These tips, tricks and reminders could make your team a more cohesive unit that works better, plays better and collaborates better.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at


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