The technology enhanced man’s capability, offered ease and convenience, and saved a lot of efforts. The emergence of new technologies would eliminate a lot of jobs in coming years. Its role has always been debated over the past few years. Taking the impact of technology on many factors into the consideration, it is important to consider its impact on the productivity of an employee. Though there have been a lot of articles and books on how to improve productivity at workplace and life, the penetration of technology has changed dynamics on management of time and being super-productive. Technology has helped in improving productivity as well as resulted in reduction and distraction from work. Some economists opined that the rise of technology has not resulted in enhanced output per person over the past few decades. They outlined technology has resulted in decline in productivity per person. The research from Microsoft backs up their claim.
One of the reasons for profitability of Microsoft Corp. has been marketing of office productivity software. The company conducted a survey of 20,000 European workers. It was found that new digital technology can result in less productivity of employees in some circumstances. Washington-headquartered tech giant joins the group of Silicon Valley firms which have been questioning the role of technology at the workplace. In December 2017, the social media giant Facebook stated its platform could cause psychological harm in some circumstances. The distraction from work due to technology may cause a sense of worry among employers.
Microsoft outlined few reasons for negative impact of technology on the workplace productivity. The constant exposure to e-mails, notifications, messages, Tweets, and viral videos disrupts the flow of work, resulting in the reduced productivity. Moreover, workers are not trained to work effectively around technology. Sometimes, systems are down and cannot be recovered for hours, causing workers to lose time. In addition, workers are surrounded by mobile devices and work from home as well, causing them to lose productivity at the workplace.
The Washington-based firm does not only blame employees but also employers for the negative impact of technology. It highlighted that the work culture plays a significant role in enhancing productivity of employees. The survey showed that companies with strong digital culture experienced gains in productivity, however, companies with weak digital culture suffered loss in productivity. Companies with strong digital culture were those giving proper training about using new technology, accessing information, managers encouraging use of new technology, and conveying employees how the digital technology will be in line with strategic vision of the company’s goals.
According to the research, 22 percent of employees in the company with strong digital culture outlined that they felt highly productive at work. However, only 5 percent reported feeling unproductive. On the other hand, 12 percent of employees in companies with weak digital culture noted that they felt highly productive at work, while 21 percent reported they felt unproductive at work. Researchers highlighted that 22 percent figure showed that there is a lot of work needs to be done so that every employee in the company need to feel highly productive at work.
There was change in engagement to work along with emergence of new technologies at work. Employees at companies with strong digital culture outlined that they felt more passion and focus. While, opposite effect was noticed in the companies with weak digital culture. It shows that the productivity reduces due to distraction and lack of proper training in using digital technology at workplace. The focus on giving proper training in using digital technology effectively would result in countering this problem.