Is technology causing more employee stress?

About half of Americans say their jobs require them to do more work today than before the economic downturn. Is technology helping them cope, or causing more stress?

In a recent survey by conferencing vendor InterCall, about 48% of employees who use technology in their jobs say more is asked of them now than in previous years, because of the economy.

For example, 30% said they feel obligated to stay connected to the office 24/7, even during weekends, holidays and vacations. In other words, they can stay connected, so they feel they have to.

However, most folks feel technology’s had a positive impact on their work-life balance — 70% of respondents said access to new tools, like videoconferencing and collaboration applications, lets them work better and faster and improves their morale.

How can managers best balance the benefit of technology with the extra stress it can add? One way is to lead by example.

For instance, sending an e-mail to an employee after office hours can give the impression the staffer is obligated to constantly check e-mail, even if that’s not the case.