Insecurities and Anxiety around New Technology: Substantiation from a European Financial Services SME

Olivier Fuchs, Mehran Najmaei


In the wake of Covid-19, a wave of changes has taken place in a number of industries. While the company is embracing a digital solution to address these changes, the greatest concern is how to adapt the psychological wellbeing of employees. In this study, nine online interviews were conducted to identify the elements of insecurity, anxiety or even fear that employees experienced during the digital transformation. These interviews were conducted to identify how these elements affected the success of the process. As part of the transcription process, the transcript is coded and analysed using NVivo 12 Pro software. Research findings indicate that participants acknowledged that the upcoming solution, although unidentified, might greatly improve the process. However, fear of failure, threshold fear, and social fear were addressed most frequently, whereas existential fears, including status anxiety regarding institutionalized status, were not significant. The study also suggested the importance of an additional, collective fear of having chosen the wrong solution. Managers should profit from being aware of the different types of employee anxieties: as long as people affected are informed about the change in a transparent manner and have extensive information about what to expect, a lot of anxieties else to be expected will not arise.

Full Text:



Abbasnejad, B., & Izadi Moud, H. (2012). Leadership Functions and Challenges in Virtual Teams -A Review Paper. International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research, Gothenburg.

Adisa, T., Ogbonnaya, C., & Adekoya, O. (2021). Remote working and employee engagement: A qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic. Information Technology & People, ahead-of-print.

Allstrin, S., Grafström, J., Stern, L., & Weidenstedt, L. (2021). Managing Work from Anywhere: Six Points to Consider for HR Professionals. Ratio Institute Series 2021, Stockholm.

Andresen, S., Lips, A., Möller, R., Rusack, T., Schröer, W., Thomas, S., & Wilmes, J. (2020). Erfahrungen und Perspektiven von jungen Menschen während der Corona-Maßnahmen [Experiences and perspectives of young people during Corona measures]. JuCo Surveys, 1, 4-17. 10.18442/120

Bailenson, J. N. (2021). Nonverbal overload: A theoretical argument for the causes of Zoom fatigue. APA Open, Technology, Mind and Behavior, Vol. 2(Issue 1).

Bouziri, H., Smith, D., Descatha, A., Dab, W., & Jean, K. (2020). Working from home in the time of COVID-19: How to best preserve occupational health? Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 77, 1-2.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2023). Thematic Analysis. In F. Maggino (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (2nd Ed. Online ed., pp. T 1-7). Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

By, R. T. (2005). Organisational change management: A critical review. Journal of Change Management, 5(4), 369-380.

Cabell, J., Wood, K., High, C., Cooper, A., Dogan, I., Gannon, M., Ragsdale, J., & Gruys, K. (2022). Staying in touch during COVID-19: How communication methods varied by age and COVID-related experiences. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 1-13.

Cavazotte, F., Lemos, A., & Villadsen, K. (2014). Corporate Smart Phones: Professionals' Conscious Engagement in Escalating Work Connectivity. New Technology, Work and Employment, 29.

Charalampous, M., Grant, C., Tramontano, C., & Michailidis, E. (2019). Systematically reviewing remote e-workers well-being at work: a multidimensional approach. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 28, 51 - 73.

Cheng, J., & Zhang, C. (2022). The Depleting and Buffering Effects of Telecommuting on Wellbeing: Evidence From China During COVID-19. Front Psychol, 13, 898405.

Christensen, J., Finne, L., Nielsen, B., Garde, A., Sørensen, K., & Vleeshouwers, J. (2020). The influence of digitalization and new technologies on psychosocial work environment and employee health. Statens arbeidsmiljøinstitutt.

Conejo Navarro, F. (2022). 8 Pasos de Kotter para la aplicación de Cambios en Transformación Digital / Kotter's 8 Steps for the application of Changes in Digital Transformation. ULCR.

Curzi, Y., Fabbri, T., & Pistoresi, B. (2020). The stressful implications of remote e-working: Evidence from Europe. International Journal of Biometrics, 15, 108-119.

Dautzenberg, P., & Voß, G. (2022). A theoretical framework for trust in automation considering its relationship to technology acceptance and its influencing factors. Advances in Transportation, 60, 313-319.

Davis, F. D., & Davis, F. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13, 319.

de Wet, W. D., & Koekemoer, E. (2016). The increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) among employees: Implications for work-life interaction. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 19, 264-281.

Dingel, J. I., & Neiman, B. (2020). How many jobs can be done at home? Journal of Public Economics, 189, 1-13.

Dockery, M., & Bawa, S. (2020). Working from Home in the COVID-19 Lockdown (Curtin Economics Centre Research Brief COVID-19, Issue.

Donati, S., Viola, G., Toscano, F., & Zappalà, S. (2021). Not All Remote Workers Are Similar: Technology Acceptance, Remote Work Beliefs, and Wellbeing of Remote Workers during the Second Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18.

Dubosson, M., Fragnière, E., & Rochat, D. (2019). Perceived risks regarding the impact of digitalization on the future of work. European Review of Service Economics and Management, no. 7, 17-43.

Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114, 254-280.

Fuchs, O., Weissleder, S., & Najmaei, M. (2022). A Probing German Case Study on Trust Building Factors Around Online Leadership in Virtual Work Environments. International Journal of Business and Management, 6 (4), 30-39.

Gaiziunas, N. (2021). Digitalpanik. In N. Gaiziunas (Ed.), Die 44 Fallen der Digitalisierung. 27-36. Haufe.

Galanti, T., Guidetti, G., Mazzei, E., Zappalà, S., & Toscano, F. (2021). Work From Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Impact on Employees’ Remote Work Productivity, Engagement, and Stress. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 63, 426-432.

Grdošić, L., & Avdić, A. (2017). Change Management: A Change Everyone Fears. ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference, Zagreb, Croatia.

Guinalíu, M., & Jordan Blasco, P. (2016). Building trust in the leader of virtual work teams. Revista Española de Investigación en Marketing ESIC, 20.

Hafshah, R. N., Najmaei, M., Mansori, S., & Fuchs, O. (2022). The Impact of Remote Work During COVID-19 Pandemic on Millennial Employee Performance: Evidence from the Indonesian Banking Industry. Journal of Insurance and Financial Management, 7(2), 15-39.

Hedlund-DeWitt, N. (2013). Coding: an overview and guide to qualitative data analysis for integral researchers. IRC Resource Papers, No. 1, 2-22.

Heinonen, K., & Strandvik, T. (2020). Reframing service innovation: COVID-19 as a catalyst for imposed service innovation. Journal of Service Management, 32, 1, 101-112.

Jones, C., Philippon, T., & Venkateswaran, V. (2020). Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home.

Karlshaus, A., López, I., & Schwarz, S. (2022). Verbreitung von Home-Office. In A. Karlshaus, I. López, & S. Schwarz (Eds.), Chancen und Herausforderungen des Home-Office - Sammlung empirischer Studien (Vol. 2022/1, pp. 6-8). CBS International Business School.

Kasemy, Z. A., Sharif, A. F., Barakat, A. M., Abdelmohsen, S. R., Hassan, N. H., Hegazy, N. N., Sharfeldin, A. Y., El-Ma'doul, A. S., Alsawy, K. A., Abo Shereda, H. M., & Abdelwanees, S. (2022). Technostress Creators and Outcomes Among Egyptian Medical Staff and Students: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study of Remote Working Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic. Front Public Health, 10, 796321.

Kateb, S., Ruehle, R. C., Kroon, D. P., van Burg, E., & Huber, M. (2022). Innovating under pressure: Adopting digital technologies in social care organizations during the COVID-19 crisis. Technovation, 115, 102536.

Kim, M., Park, I., An, H., Yun, B., & Yoon, J.-H. (2023). Teleworking Is Significantly Associated with Anxiety Symptoms and Sleep Disturbances among Paid Workers in the COVID-19 Era. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(2), 1488.

Klopotek, M. (2017). The advantages and disadvantages of remote working from the perspective of young employees. Organization and Management, 4, No. 40, 39-49.

Kotter, J., & Ameln, F. (2019). Agility, hierarchy and lessons for the future. John Kotter on the legacy and future of Change Management. Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Organisationspsychologie (GIO), 50, 111-114.

Kramer, A., & Kramer, K. (2020). The potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on occupational status, work from home, and occupational mobility. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, 103442.

Krutova, O., Turja, T., Koistinen, P., Melin, H., & Särkikoski, T. (2021). Job insecurity and technology acceptance: an asymmetric dependence. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, ahead-of-print.

Manjaree, S., & Perera, D. (2021). Determinants of Employee Engagement during COVID 19 Pandemic (Case of Sri Lanka Technological Campus). International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science, 05(VII), 773-778.

Mars-Matzke, M. (2022). Wie Technologie den Arbeitsplatz verändert. Digitale Welt, 6(2), 61-62.

Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative Content Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1 (2).

Mayring, P. (2015). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken (12th ed.). Beltz Verlag.

Mazmanian, M., Orlikowski, W. J., & Yates, J. (2013). The autonomy paradox: The implications of mobile email devices for knowledge professionals. Organization Science, 24, 1337-1357.

McLaren, T., Hoorn, B., & Fein, E. (2022). Why Vilifying the Status Quo Can Derail a Change Effort: Kotter’s Contradiction, and Theory Adaptation. Journal of Change Management, October 22, 1-19.

Meswantri, M., & Ilyas, A. (2018). Determinant of Employee Engagement and Its Implications on Employee Performance. International Review of Management and Marketing, 8(3), 36-44.

Meyssonnier, F., & Zakar, M. (2016). Satisfaction du client et efficience du personnel en contact dans la relation de service [Article]. Recherches en Sciences de Gestion(112), 59-76.

Michinow, E., Ruiller, C., Chedotel, F., Dodeler, V., & Michinow, N. (2022). Work-From-Home During Covid-19 Lockdoewn: When Employees' Well-Being and Creativity Depen on Their Psychological Profiles. Frontiers in Psychology, 05/2022, 1-18.

Mitterweger, J., & Wellhöfer, L. (2019). Die fünf Säulen der Digitalisierung. In D. Brommer, S. Hockling, & A. Leopold (Eds.), Faszination New Work: 50 Impulse für die neue Arbeitswelt (pp. 79-86). Springer Fachmedien.

Müller, B., Lalive, R., & Lavanchy, M. (2020). Corona beschleunigt Digitalisierung der Arbeit. Die Volkswirtschaft, Issue 6/2020, 15-17.

Okkonen, J., Vuori, V., & Palvalin, M. (2019). Digitalization Changing Work: Employees’ View on the Benefits and Hindrances. Information Technology and Systems, Cham.

Pass, S., & Ridgway, M. (2022). An informed discussion on the impact of COVID-19 and ‘enforced’ remote working on employee engagement. Human Resource Development International, 25(2), 254-270.

Prasetyaningtyas, S. W., Heryanto, C., Nurfauzi, N. F., & Tanjung, S. B. (2021). The Effect of Work from Home on Employee Productivity in Banking Industry. Journal of Applied Management, 19(3), 507-521.

RKI, Robert Koch Institut (2016) Nationaler Pandämieplan: Robert Koch Institut.

RKI, Robert Koch Institut (2020) Ergänzung zum nationalen Pandämieplan - COVID-19: Robert Koch Institut.

Rosanowske, G. (2022). Digitale Belastungen bei Erwerbstätigen der Versicherungsbranche in Zeiten der Corona-Pandämie [Digital Strain with Employees in the Insurance Industry During the Covid-Pandemic]. In A. Karlshaus, I. López, & S. Schwarz (Eds.), Chancen und Herausforderungen des Home-Office - Sammlung empirischer Studien (Vol. 2022/1, pp. 95-102). CBS International Business School.

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (Third ed.). SAGE.

Showkat, N., & Parveen, H. (2017). In-depth Interview. In Communications Research (Vol. P2). Aligarh University.

Snellman, L. (2014). Virtual Teams: Opportunities and Challenges for e-Leaders. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110, 1251-1261.

Sonnenschein, K., Hagen, Ø., Rostad, I. S., & Wiik, R. (2022). "Make it possible for more people to work at home!" representations of employee motivation and job satisfaction in Danish and Norwegian newspapers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 2-12.

Teti, M., Schatz, E., & Liebenberg, L. (2020). Methods in the Time of COVID-19: The Vital Role of Qualitative Inquiries. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19, 1-5.

Usher, K., Bhullar, N., & Jackson, D. (2020). Life in the pandemic: Social isolation and mental health. Journal of clinical nursing, 2756-2757.

van Zoonen, W., Sivunen, A., Blomqvist, K., Olsson, T., Ropponen, A., Henttonen, K., & Vartiainen, M. (2021). Factors Influencing Adjustment to Remote Work: Employees' Initial Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(13).

Vasickova, V. (2020). Crisis Management Process - A Literature Review and a Conceptual Integration. Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, 27, 61-77.

Waizenegger, L., McKenna, B., Cai, W., & Bendz, T. (2020). An affordance perspective of team collaboration and enforced working from home during COVID-19. European Journal of Information Systems, 29(4), 429-442.

Wang, Y., & Haggerty, N. (2011). Individual Virtual Competence and Its Influence on Work Outcomes. Journal of Management Information Systems, 27, 299-334.

Wittmer, J., & Martin, J. (2010). Emotional Exhaustion Among Employees Without Social or Client Contact: The Key Role of Nonstandard Work Schedules [Article]. Journal of Business & Psychology, 25(4), 607-623.

Yu, J., & Wu, Y. (2021). The Impact of Enforced Working from Home on Employee Job Satisfaction during COVID-19: An Event System Perspective. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(24), 13207.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Olivier Fuchs

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.