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FROM THE RESOURCE LIBRARY

Adjusting to New Technology and Systems in the Workplace

VU VUMC

Technological innovation in the workplace is important in order to stay competitive, efficient, and effective, though adjusting to new technology or systems can have its challenges. All worthwhile adjustments will require energy, focus, and faith. While some employees may enjoy the challenges of adopting new technology or see the long-term benefits, others will have understandable concerns about what it means to face such changes in the workplace.

Four Concerns about New Technology/Systems in the Workplace

  1. Expecting work demands to increase.
  2. Disruption of day-to-day workflow by system-wide changes.
  3. Increased stress, anxiety, or frustration while adjusting to changes.
  4. Potential loss of employment due to an inability to master new technology or systems.

All of these possible reactions relate to a person’s sense of power, control, and ability. So much of our identity is tied to what we do and how well we do it. If our jobs or our duties begin to change, it can threaten our understanding of what is within our control and how successful we can be.

How Do We Cope with Stress Related to Changes in the Workplace?

When our coping resources do not match the demands of the situation, stress emerges. Therefore, the best buffer to the potential stress is to have effective coping skills. The following represent a few skills that may help with coping and adjustment to new technology and systems in the workplace.

1. Stay informed. They say that information is power. It also offers a sense of control. The more you know about the reasons and/or process for changes in procedures and technology, the more likely you are to understand and accept the changes.

2. Accept what you cannot change. This does not mean ignore how you feel. In fact, ignoring or suppressing your emotions can cause even more challenges. The goal is to not allow short-term thoughts, feelings, and impulses to direct your behavior. Instead, focus on the long-term implications and your personal goals and act according to your values. To develop this skill:

  1. Be aware of what is happening in the present moment rather than focusing on anticipated problems.
  2. Identify the thoughts and feelings you have in this moment and recognize you have choices.
  3. Select the behavior and responses that support what you want to achieve. In other words, choose to be effective versus just being “right.”

3. Recognize your learning style. There are seven different styles of learning, and everyone has a mix of styles based on their strengths. Ask yourself: How do you prefer to take in information and when are you most likely to remember it? Use your learning styles to your advantage as you begin to learn something new.

  1. Visual/Spatial
  2. Auditory/Musical
  3. Verbal
  4. Physical
  5. Logical
  6. Social
  7. Solitary

4. Seek support. Training classes and technological support will help with skill development and technical questions during a technology shift in the workplace, but they will not cover the emotional toll of what can be a frustrating process. While co-workers and managers can provide a space for expressing frustration, it is important to not sit in groups and complain about the change. Instead, explain the problems and then consider how people in the group can help one another. Friends, family, and clergy are also valuable sources of emotional support.

Vanderbilt Medical Center and Vanderbilt University employees can contact Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program (WLC-EAP) for support through any change in the workplace, as well as other professional and personal situations. WLC-EAP offers confidential, short-term, no-cost counseling and coaching to enhance resilience and manage stress. Employees can make an appointment by calling 615-936-1327.

Change in the workplace is to be expected, but by using these skills and the resources available to you, there also are ways to make it more manageable.

Written by Chad A. Buck, Ph.D., HSP

Licensed Psychologist, Work/Life Connections – EAP

Psychological Support Consultant, Health Plus


Posted on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Facing Life's Challenges, Resource Articles, Work/Life Connections and tagged , , , , ,

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23 Comments on “Adjusting to New Technology and Systems in the Workplace”

very interesting

Cheryl Markin on July 27th, 2017 at 7:57 am

Helpful

Margaret Rutherford on July 29th, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Very helpful and so relevant!

Janet Myers on August 4th, 2017 at 2:46 pm

thank you~

Deena on August 19th, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Thank you. The information is power!

Tatiana on September 7th, 2017 at 10:33 am

Helpful

Anne Frances Pate on September 8th, 2017 at 8:49 am

thank you, very helpful

AMIRA on September 13th, 2017 at 2:52 pm

i enjoyed this article

sara shaw on September 26th, 2017 at 9:39 am

Good article

JEnn on September 30th, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Good Article

Patricia on October 3rd, 2017 at 7:01 am

This information was very helpful

theresa allison on October 5th, 2017 at 8:48 am

Will definitely use this as my guide

Janet Madariaga on October 6th, 2017 at 5:17 am

Interesting

Pat Tellinghuisen on October 8th, 2017 at 11:13 am

Thank you for this very helpful article.

Karol Hensley on October 13th, 2017 at 11:26 am

Thanks – I needed this information

penny powers on October 19th, 2017 at 6:19 pm

These are good reminders.

Marc Delice on October 19th, 2017 at 7:56 pm

thankyou i needed this info

carolyn patton on October 21st, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Helpful.

Doris Bell on October 23rd, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Helpful!

Anna on October 29th, 2017 at 5:23 pm

We have to change with technology it is the way of the world think positive.

Christye Perkins on October 30th, 2017 at 7:27 am

helpful. accept what you can’t change is a real challenge!

James H. Clarke on October 30th, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Thank you

Sandra on October 30th, 2017 at 7:22 pm

Very interesting and helpful information. Really enjoyed reading it.

Sandra Broadnax on October 31st, 2017 at 7:58 am

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