IT and Stress: CIOnet France Seminar report

IT, a Stress Factor in the Enterprise?

On Wednesday June 8 2011, CIOnet France hosted the seminar “IT, a Stress Factor in the Enterprise?”.
The agenda featured the following topics:

  • Evolution of the Working Environment
  • Stress Factors linked to the IT
  • CIO’s role
  • Best practices
Yves Lasfargue


Yves Lasfargue is an expert of the Working Environment. He is the Director of OBERGO and part of the Working team dedicated to Stress and IT ot the French Ministry of Labour. He is the author of “Qualité de vie et Santé au Travail”.
Yves first pointed out the fact that stress is part of a new kind of risks at work, different in its mode from the physical/chemical ones: if heat, dust, chemical products, noise… can be precisely measured, stress cannot be really quantified as two individuals under the same conditions will not react nor suffer identically.

Stress happens when there is a lack of balance between what is felt to be a constraint and what is felt to be a resource. Email is a good example of this as the numerous messages to be dealt with can require more time than available.

Stress factors

In fact Yves describes 10 main factors:

  • Permanent changes
  • Digitisation and abstraction
  • More and more written information
  • Interactivity and immediacy
  • Over-abundance of information
  • Contractual relationship
  • Time an urgency
  • Remote work
  • Vulnerability and cyber-crime
  • Traceability and transparency

After this presentation, a round table was organized with:

round table

Nathalie Rachline, IT Architecture, Production and Support Services Manager, Malakoff Mederic
Marie-Pierre Xerri-Lambert, Department HR Director, EDF

Jean-Charles Hardouin, Group CIO, Arkema

Yves Lasfargue
, CEO, Obergo

Philippe Rosé
, Chief Editor, Best Practices

It appears clearly that a lot of work has to be done to prevent the most stressful conditions and behaviours. In fact the stress is spread all along the organization and its ecosystem: users are stressed by the various factors already mentioned, so are the various offices of the IT team and finally the whole company and its stakeholders. Most of the issues are due to dualisms such as:

  • Legacy application Vs Mobility solutions
  • Professional IT Vs Personal IT
  • Young executives Vs Senior

If there is probably no complete solution, our speakers mentioned several best practices such as putting in place a close partnership between the HR and the IT teams during the projects. It is also of great importance to have the users implied in each project.
This seminar  will be followed by a Forum, dedicated to this subject on

We would like to thank again our speakers and all the attendees. The evaluation forms we received were very positive and we look forward organizing a next event in September.

Frédéric Charles, IS STrategy & Governance Manager at Lyonnaise des Eaux wrote an article on ZDNet about this event: you can access it here.

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