Is technology making us more or less productive?
Over the years, dozens of new technology and tools have been developed to make us more productive. They claim to make our businesses run more efficiently, save us time on tasks we don’t want to do ourselves, and ultimately help us get more done every day.
A lot of us have found this to be true, but in some ways is technology stopping us from being productive too?
Here are some reasons why this may be true:
No doubt, some technologies have helped people become more productive workers. Software like Microsoft Teams has helped businesses become more efficient with collaboration, file sharing and meetings, helping you to complete more work in less time.
For the majority of us, working a whole day without a laptop, smartphone, or computer is just unthinkable. But, unfortunately, not all forms of technology offer such straightforward benefits.
When we get into a workflow, sometimes messages and emails can interrupt this focus. A buzz in our pocket can distract us from what we are doing and we then take longer to get back into work mode – 23 minutes on average according to a recent study. You’re also more likely to get a wave of messages and notifications first thing in the morning, which means this may keep you away from work for longer.
On top of the copious amounts of emails and messages we have to read, responding to them can be very energy-intensive. Depending on the message context, we might feel pressure to draft the perfect response, which takes time and brain power! Putting all that time and energy into emails and Teams notifications takes it away from potentially more important tasks.
When it comes to automation, it is supposed to make our lives easier and our work more productive, but more often than not it is difficult and mundane. Sometimes you spend far more time automating the task than you would simply do it. A good example is setting up automation in a spreadsheet to work out different formulas.
Tech fatigue Technology
For good or bad, technology has come to shape how we work and live and constant connectivity means we’re now always plugged in, whether to our friends, social media, the web or our work. Yet, this could be affecting our ability to concentrate, with many of us finding it harder to switch off. Technology, and more specifically its ability to keep us constantly ‘on’ and connected, is affecting our work-life balance.
Even though technology has brought huge benefits to companies and their employees, there’s clearly a need to find the right balance. Flexible workspaces and designated tech-free zones are just two of the solutions to this issue, helping people to separate working hours from non-working time, and minimising distractions while actually working.