Only Twenty-Two Percent of Workers report “High Productivity”

That number—courtesy of a recent Microsoft survey (Kahn, 2018)—isn’t encouraging. Why is the typical information work so unproductive? The low percentage can’t all be a result of interoffice gossip and politics. No, the cause of our low productivity is technology—more specifically our unhealthy relationship with the devices designed to enrich our lives—it’s a phenomenon called, “technostress” and society has got a bad case.

Technostress is a catch all term for, “all the negative psychological effects that result from changes in technology,” (Holland, 2018). It covers our inability to put down our phones, our addiction to social media and general technology burnout.

Microsoft identified causes for low worker productivity: workers are “too distracted by a constant influx of emails, Slack messages, Trello notifications, texts, Tweets—not to mention viral cat videos—to concentrate for sustained periods,” (Kahn, 2018). Meanwhile at-home working is causing workers to feel “tethered” to their jobs twenty-four hours a day—a concept dubbed “weisure” by Sociologist Dalton Conley, and it’s destroying our work-life balance.

What Microsoft identified is technostress, and it is insidiously destroying our wellbeing and work-life balance. Our connected existence has led many of us to have a bad case of FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out). It’s okay to disconnect—it’s okay to not respond to emails at night—it’s okay to have a healthy workplace balance.

The Productivity Maximizer—this author’s new white paper—offers strategies and exercises to bust through technostress and maximize productivity so anyone who is self-motivated can join the “high productivity” ranks and establish a healthy work-life balance.


Holland, G. (2018, February 11). Why technostress is killing productivity. Reseller Middle East, Retrieved from

Kahn, J. (2018, February 5). Microsoft says it’s true: Cat videos distract workers. Bloomberg, Retrieved from