Is technology beginning to affect our productivity, rather than enhance it?
In a recent report which sampled views in 21 European nations including the UK, it found that only 11.4% of European workers said they felt highly productive. “Modern workers have an abundance of technology at their fingertips,” said the report. “But this availability doesn’t necessarily translate into impact.”
This report found that technology can actually distract workers rather than make them more productive.
Sir Cary Cooper is a professor of organisational psychology at the Manchester Business School, his research shows that “Technologies can overload people and make them less productive because they get caught up in it rather than use it to deliver a service or a product.”
Email is huge distraction to an employee, especially when being checked around the clock.
Sir Cary found that email had been named as the “second most damaging issue” by big firms that he helped to co-ordinate, who were members of the UK’s National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work.
To combat this trend, many firms now limit when emails can be sent in a bid to lighten the load on workers. “Productivity comes from creative interchange,” he said. “It does not come from people sitting in front of machines sending emails.”
So, what can companies do to lower technostress and improve productivity?
Checking emails at limited times of the day can be a great help to lowering how overwhelmed employees can feel. It also minimises new distractions and increases productivity.
Another way to improve productivity is to give staff the proper training, helping them to use their digital software and systems in the most effective way. In the report, many members of staff said they felt overwhelmed with constant connectivity. In companies where technology was not managed well about 20% felt disengaged.
If you would like any tips or advice on how to best harness the technology in your workplace, get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to advise.