ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 467-479.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00467

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Prompt reply: Workplace telepressure in the information and communications technology (ICT) era

SUN Hui, XU Jie()   

  1. Management School, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • Received:2022-05-13 Online:2023-03-15 Published:2022-12-22
  • Contact: XU Jie


Workplace telepressure is the sense of urgency felt by employees as they strive to respond to their ICT-based work messages as soon as possible. It has detrimental impact on employees’ occupational psychological health and family life, thus drawing increasing attention in recent years. However, existing studies have revealed the antecedents and consequences of workplace telepressure in a scattered and unsystematic manner. This study strives to provide a comprehensive overview of the antecedents and consequences of workplace telepressure based on job demands-resources (JD-R) model together with effort-recovery model. In terms of antecedents, following a clear conceptual definition of workplace telepressure, this study draws on job demands-resources model to diffientiate different types of ICT use into job demands and job resources. Further, we propose that ICT-related job demands, such as work overload, control over job demands, and organization norms for ICT response, can lead to workplace telepressure, and that employees have the tendency to view ICT-related job demands as challenging job demands rather than hindrance job demands. In addition, this study also distinguishes individual factors into personal demands and personal resources, with personal demands leading to higher workplace telepressure whereas personal resources alleviating workplace telepressure. Regarding the consequences, high workplace telepressure leads employees who struggle to respond to job demands engage in more ICT-based response behaviors during both work and non-work hours. Nevertheless, according to the effort-recovery model, facing high workplace telepressure, employees who prefer responding to ICT messages promptly should have difficulty in detaching from work-related activities psychologically either during work breaks or non-work hours, which prevents them from resource recovery. Continuous exposure to high job demands and insufficient recovery can lead to an accumulation of strain reactions, impairing employees’ chronic health such as occupational psychological health (including burnout, increased feelings of stress, reduced work engagement, etc.), family life (mainly in the form of work-family conflict and reduced well-being), and work performance. Finally, according to the current research progress, we propose several potential directions for future research: (1) To distinguish between task-related and interpersonal-related workplace telepressure as well as to clarify the time intervals to which response delays refer; (2) To investigate further on the effects of personal demands such as ICT anxiety, personal resources such as self-esteem, and job demands/resources such as social norms of time in different cultural contexts, leader-member exchange, and family-supportive organizational climate; (3) To reveal the impact of different communication softwares used in ICT-based communication, as well as to explore the loss spiral effect of workplace telepressure on employees; (4) To conduct intervention studies based on the antecedents and consequences of workplace telepressure, such as developing clearer organizational standards related to response expectations and creating a family-supportive organizational climate. In addition, employees can also proactively craft their jobs to optimize their work environment. By systematically reviewing the antecedents and consequences of workplace telepressure, this study not only enriches our current knowledge about the consequences of ICT use but also provides valuable suggestions for future research and interventions to mitigate the negative effects of workplace telepressure. Meanwhile, this study is of great value for enhancing employee occupational psychological health and improving organizational performance.

Key words: workplace telepressure (WPT), information and communication technology (ICT), job demands- resources model (JD-R), effort-recovery model

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