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If your computer freezes, please walk away from it

Come on, it's not like you've never imagined whacking a sledgehammer through a computer that keeps freezing. Workers nowadays are overly reliant on this one piece of very fallible office equipment.

So in the likely event that your computer misbehaves - like taking hostage three weeks worth of work - who can blame you for getting superstressed?

Such workplace stress can proliferate in many ways. Most people in one such study commissioned by Compaq, for example, have seen other workers rage against their computers — swearing at the equipment, for example.

So what can workers do to avoid such stress?

Basic steps include backing up work on a hard disk and taking courses to bolster your computer know-how, Norman said.

In the likely case that you still have problems, Norman suggested walking away from your computer and taking a break. Maybe companies could have rage breaks, providing a punching bag to help workers vent their frustrations?

All companies need to have a backup plan, added Andrew J. DuBrin, a Rochester Institute of Technology management professor. In case DuBrin's home office computer goes down — which is where he does his research and writing — he has a backup laptop with some of the same capabilities.

After all, he's not immune to computer mishaps. Last year he battled for weeks with an unruly computer, before finally buying a new one and getting over his fear of learning new software. "It would do the strangest things," he said. "All of a sudden everything would be highlighted, like I had hit Control Alt. I couldn't get out of it.

Via Got computer rage? Expert suggests safe ways to vent