Technology lights up the workplace
Step into any workplace and it’s easy to spot a multitude of modern gadgets and technologies. Employees are rarely spotted without their smartphone, tablet or laptop in hand – sometimes all three at once. Workers at their desks will conduct meetings via Skype whilst colleagues around them are messaging co-workers via instant chat. And let’s not forget the constant ping of another mass email arriving.
All these technologies have been introduced to the workplace to support employees throughout their working day but are they actually having an adverse effect on levels of both staff productivity and wellbeing?
Employers certainly fear this is the case and some figures suggest they are right to be worried. In a survey by Career Builder, 21% said they would spend around an hour per day surfing the internet for non-work reasons and 24% of respondents admitted to spending at least one hour a day texting. What’s to stop everyone else joining in?
There is also debate around whether emails harm workplace productivity. Sir Cary Cooper, a professor of organisational psychology, labelled the tendency of employees to constantly check messages, in and out of working hours, an ‘email epidemic’ that is diminishing productivity. Cooper blamed the overuse of internal emails as a major barrier to working efficiently, citing the success of a French company who banned the use of internal emails, in a bid to improve productivity.
Modern workplace technology
However, modern technologies can have a place in productive organisations. Every day, businesses across Europe are expanding into new countries and technology facilitates this. Without it, it would almost be unproductive for businesses to pursue growth. And although social media is often associated with unproductive working, when used correctly, it allows businesses to reach out to people across the world.
The proliferation of modern technology in the workplace has had a varied impact on the health and wellbeing of staff. While some gadgets are known to have an adverse effect on user health, others such as the ActiVita Daylight Lamps are specifically designed to improve wellbeing in the workplace. Incorporating several functions into one gadget with adjustable light settings, the range supports health and wellbeing initiatives at work. In turn, this helps to boost productivity levels at work, as previously explored in this blog.
A new way of working
So has the modern workplace caused the meaning of working productively to change? If employees are expected to be online throughout the day and find it impossible not to check their phone or answer emails during meetings, it’s likely that measures of productivity need re-evaluating.
As for health and wellbeing, with multiple studies uncovering the negative effects that devices can have on users, it’s important to remember that there is also an abundance of technology that is designed to improve the comfort and health of employees at work.
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This post is also available in: French