POPin Blog

The Evolving Role Of Technology In Productivity

Laptop? Check. Tablet? Check-check. Smartphone? Triple-check. A second smartphone? Ok, you win, bonus points for you! Aren’t we lucky? We are plugged in all the time. All. The. Time. We work, we learn, we talk, we work some more. In fact, modern technology affords us to get more work done at a much faster pace because we can connect to the workplace anytime, anywhere and be collaborative with colleagues. So we must be more productive right? Well, yes and no. True, greater mobility can definitely give your team a boost in productivity. They can work anytime and anywhere. But with all this constant connectivity and the rise of social networking, studies show that it’s a lot harder to disconnect. In fact, the increased use of technology has led some employees to feel they are unable to disconnect from work, and that doesn’t necessarily lead to greater productivity. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association, looked at how people use work-related communication technology and its implications on both work (productivity) and well-being. Here are some key findings from the survey that might surprise you:
  • 53% of employed adults said they check work messages at least once a day over the weekend
  • 44% of employees reported checking email while on vacation
  • 56% of employees said communications technology allows them to be more productive
  • 49% said communications technology has a positive impact on their relationships with co-workers
  • 36% of employed Americans said communications technology increases their workload
  • 34% of employees said communications technology makes it more difficult to stop thinking about work
The key seems to be finding the right balance when it comes to connectivity (and hence, productivity). So how can companies help employees do that?
  1. Set some ground rules.

It’s important to lay down expectations for employees when it comes to using communications technology outside of work. In our modern world, this is a key part of corporate culture. Many employees feel obligated to stay connected on nights, weekends and vacations because the company has never addressed it.

  1. Make disconnecting easier.

Employees have different preferences when it comes to connectivity. That’s OK. You can’t stop a person from checking their email on vacation if they want to. What you can do is make it easier for employees to disconnect.

Remember, the goal of business communications technology is to make life a little easier for your employees and increase productivity, not add to their stress. As we head into the summer season, make sure to let your employees know that—while there’s value in staying connected—there’s also value in powering down the smartphone on occasion and taking a vacation from technology.