Author: Elena Menchetti
Publication date: 15.12.2023
Technology and productivity factors
Technology has been at the forefront in our society for more than a decade now. However, studying how technology factors influence productivity is a relatively new field.
Indeed, the role that technology plays in our lives has been accentuated by its use in schools and the workplace. In order to understand how technology affects our productivity at work, this article gives an explanation of its positive and not so positive sides.
How technology increases productivity in the workplace
1. Improved communication
Improved communication between colleagues or team members is a common result of technological advancements. This ensures that everyone stays connected and updated on work changes. Sharing documents and presentations is now also common. This means that information can reach all employees any time, no matter their location.
2. Improved efficiency
Thanks to technology, customer relationships are easier to form and keep. This is because customers' data can be stored in the same place and later used for interactions. In addition, technology improves efficiency because it makes repetitive, time-consuming tasks easier. Technology tools also run things more efficiently when it comes to helping employees do their jobs better.
3. Improved concentration
Technology can help you focus when used wisely. There exist some applications that can help employees work effectively and without interruption. In addition, because technology can take over the most repetitive tasks, employees will be able to concentrate on more important tasks. Finally, music is another aspect of technology that has been proven to increase focus and productivity.
4. Improved employee engagement
Technology can make boring traditional office routines more interesting and engaging. It can do so through tools that increase collaboration, flexibility and transparency. What’s more, business professionals are now working on developing tools that provide immediate feedback to employees on the work they accomplish. With this feedback system, the prediction is that people will be more eager to work and be more productive.
5 .Improved planning and time management
Planning and time management are important if one wants to be productive. There are organizational time tracking tools that can help employees track their time efficiently. More specifically, they can help in the management of projects and track progress towards goals. That way, if a project is behind in the time schedule, corrective actions can be taken to speed up the process.
Moreover, there are calendar and scheduling applications that are accessible everywhere and on any device. These can send reminders to keep employees on track and help them develop better habits.
6. Increased flexibility
With technology, people are able to work as effectively and efficiently outside the office as when they are at the office. This means that, despite the changing environments, employees remain connected and productive.
7. Facilitates education and learning
There are plenty of online courses, certifications, and learning management systems that can encourage employees to learn new knowledge, skills, and talents. New learning eventually stimulates employees’ drive and creativity, which are necessary for a company’s success.
What’s more, technology provides a space for community learning. That is, by sharing each other’s projects, reading comments and feedback, and asking questions, employees can continuously learn from one another.
8. Simplifies setting and meeting goals
Setting goals is very powerful, and technology can help create and follow a plan to succeed. Features like to-do lists and reminder apps enable employees to set and follow through their daily, weekly, and monthly goals. In the end, goal setting is all about setting priorities and managing schedules accordingly.
Some disadvantages of using technology for productivity in the workplace
1. The impact on human connection and relationships
If employees communicate through emails, text messages, and video calls most of the time, building interpersonal relationships will be harder. Technology tools and platforms can indeed prevent deep human connections from being established. In addition, the more communication is made online, the more employees become self-centered and reserved.
2. More distractions
I know what you are thinking. “I’m not the kind of person who gets distracted easily, especially at work”. Well, it turns out that, for the majority of people, the presence of technology at work is actually distracting. One example is the use of social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube. Don’t tell me that you’ve never used social media at work. I won’t believe you.
Unless you literally put your phone in the bag or in another room, it’s very hard to not open social media. Even then, because one is likely to use a laptop or computer while working, notifications can appear on screen without having to unlock the phone. All notifications can distract the person from the task at hand and lower productivity.
3. More stress and workload
We often receive too much (unnecessary) information and our brains can only take in a certain amount. Receiving too much information all at once can be draining and overwhelming. It is actually scientifically proven that too much information can lead to cognitive overload. This is a state whereby the individual is unable to make decisions because there are too many options available.
The experience of cognitive overload is also likely to make it harder for someone to differentiate what’s important from what’s not. In addition, people nowadays pretend that we keep up with technology’s pace. This means that, while it would take days or even weeks to reply to someone’s letter in the past, we now send an email and expect a reply on the same day. As a result, workload may increase and, along with it, a sense of urgency which may lead to more stress.
4. Increased laziness
It only takes a click or two, and people can get what they want in a matter of hours or days. It also just takes a few seconds, and people get an answer to their questions. Since technology allows us to achieve things in a faster, more proficient way, people tend to use less of their mental capacity at work. This in turn kills employees’ skill and creativity in the long term.
To some people, technology is beneficial and increases their productivity. Nevertheless, technology has become so present in our lives that, to other people, it is distracting and hinders their productivity. Indeed, while technology makes things easier, it also reduces our concentration span, increases stress, and makes us more lazy.
Finally, it is important to note that the integration of new technology in the workplace is only successful if enough time and investment are spent on it. Hence, technology tools should be explained well if employees’ productivity and engagement are to increase.