What the Lockdown means for the digital Stress

Study: Healthy digital work What the Lockdown means for the digital Stress

Germany is shutting down. How does the work in a home office? The Fraunhofer FIT has been examined in the context of a large-scale study of the influence of the lock downs on the Stress of working with digital technologies.


The Fraunhofer FIT investigates how the last Lockdown has changed the mental strain. The focus was on work with digital technologies in the home office.
The Fraunhofer FIT investigates how the last Lockdown has changed the mental strain. The focus was on work with digital technologies in the home office.

(Image: public domain / CC0 )

The home office has gained in the last few months, a seemingly unimaginable importance – in the last few months, more and more workers have done their work from home. The Covid pandemic as a significant cause of these changes in working conditions affects not only the place of work, but also the Stress when working with digital technologies.

Digital technologies in everyday work

To this finding, the authors of the project group economic computer science of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied information technology FIT and the University of Augsburg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel in the large-scale study Digital work during the Covid-19-pandemic come. The study was carried out in the framework of the German Federal Ministry of education and research funded project prevention for safe and healthy Working with digital technologies (in short: PräDiTec) and by the Bavarian state Ministry for science and the arts funded project fordigit health (Healthy use of digital technologies). At two time points before and during the Covid-19 pandemic were over 1,000 workers in various industries and activities to your working conditions and your use of digital technologies in the work surveyed.

We see from the results that the current work situation is causing many to a reduction of the working hours, the emotional demands in the workplace, and the number of social conflicts at work. At the same time extend the time, but spaces in which employed persons work – life, for example, early in the morning or late in the evening because by the home office, the separation of work and private is becoming increasingly diffuse, it is.

Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel

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What digital Stress?

Stress describes the condition of people with increased mental or physical activation due to a lack of Balance between the applied stress and the individual the prerequisites to meet these requirements, as well as the immediate negative consequences (DIN EN ISO 10075-1: 2018-01). The resulting Stress can eventually work hazardous to health, if the duration and intensity as well as the frequency and variety of failure stress are high (BGW, 2006). The increased use of new information and communication technology (ICT) in the changing world of work may lead to specific stress and failure stress and thus, to a digital Stress. Digital Stress thus refers to the negative Stress by stress factors in dealing with digital technologies and media. In the study, “Healthy digital work?!” (Gimpel et al., 2019) were identified a total of twelve different load factors when working with digital media and technologies (see image)

The load factors of the digital work in the 2019 study published in
The load factors of the digital work in the 2019 study published in “Healthy digital?!” the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied information technology FIT, the Federal Institute for work protection and work medicine and the BF/M-Bayreuth, by means of a large-scale survey of over 5,000 employees in Germany are identified and their distribution, possible influencing factors and their consequences examined.

(Image: PräDiTec)

The results of the study in the summary

  • Core result 1: work less, but longer. The amount of work, and occupational requirements decrease due to changes in the work situation by Covid-19. This includes hours of work, emotional demands of their profession, as well as the number of social conflicts, which are all significantly decreased count net. However, extend the time periods in which work is performed, due to the increased mixing of work and private life.
  • Core result 2: Private requirements. Private requirements are increasing in many dimensions: in Particular, the financial Concerns and the quantitative private requirements (i. S. v. at home is a lot to do), but also emotional requirements. At the same time the respondents find it within our own budget, less support, because many are affected equally. The impact is reflected in an increased Work-Home conflict.
  • Core result 3: countervailing trends in digital load factors. While some digital load factors rise, fall other. The problems are not unique to the digital work, such as the experiences, availability of technology, lack of success, or the omnipresence, to take. In contrast, aspects that are attributed to inexperience in dealing with IT, such as the uncertainty or job insecurity from take.
  • Core result 4: Digital Stress in the home office is very individual. As people with the changes in the work situation, is highly individual. So. People with management responsibility closer to the digital work is used, people with kids suffer more, and people with experience and Confidence in dealing with digital technologies and media to cope better with the home office Situation.

40 years of digital Stress

In General, the Work in the home office means for the majority of the employees, a more intensive use of digital technologies and media during working hours. So, for example, is moved to the personal communications of the digital world. It is already in the science sufficiently well-known that the impact of the To evaluate the use of digital technologies and media in the work place on the employees it is ambivalent.

The research has identified since the mid-1980s, digital Stress as the specific stress in the form of (Brod, 1982). Originally understood as “a modern disease, caused by the inability of the healthy way of dealing with new computer technologies” has developed the concept of digital Stress continuously, and now refers to a Stress response due to load factors of digital worksuch as , for example, performance monitoring, unreliability, Floods, interruption or Lack of success (Gimpel et al., 2019).

This post comes from our partner portal Konstruktionspraxis.de.