Sunday, September 15, 2019

Negative Impact of Technology on Your Workplace Productivity

Technology can be a bane or a boon depending on how one uses it. In this rapid-changing world where digitalization has become the norm, technology has helped to make things faster, eco-friendly (less use of paper) and helps one stay connected. But the issue is that technology is often misused in the workplace and this may hamper the pace at work. here are few tips to manage the negative impact of technology at workplace.

Reduced productivity

With the advent of social media and easy-to-use smartphones, you can now be in touch with anyone in any corner of the world. Messaging applications on the phone allow easier communication at international levels. But the smartphone can pose to be a constant distraction. As a result, one seems to keep checking the phone for new messages or updates from friends and peers.

Social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are more of a social addiction. It keeps one hooked on to the web and the phone. Even when employees are not distracted during working hours, they may be spending more time on these social media platforms that again take a toll on both physical and emotional health.

Resistance to technology

And while on one hand employees may be enjoying technologically advanced gadgets like smartphones, they may have some resistance towards adopting new technologies. Another aspect is that technology, especially when used to reduce labor or manpower, means downsizing. This could also result in some employees resisting or not adapting to newer technology.

Misuse of technology

Technology is often misused when provided or available easily. For example, free internet in the workplace could be used for personal use to a great extent. Though monitoring techniques are present, the easy availability or access to these websites could be a hindrance to productivity.

 Loss of privacy

Another negative impact of technology is the loss of privacy in the workplace. There was a time when heading out of the office in the evening meant that one could simply forget work. Now, thanks to technology, work follows you home too. In this reference, the reverse is also true. With easy access into the outside world — technology poses a threat to privacy. Along with having a negative impact on the productivity of individual employees, there’s also a threat to group privacy. Business secrets or agendas being leaked are one of them as well as the threat of hacking.

How to tackle this issue?

Thankfully, there are ways to balance the use of technology at work and minimizing the negative impact of technology. Here are a few tips

  • Make it a norm to keep the phones silent during working hours. Constant notifications are also a hindrance. So keeping notifications off are a good way of restricting these diversions.
  • One should also encourage learning new technologies at the workplace — taking into consideration the learning potential of individual employees. Don’t force them; rather persuade them into taking up new challenges.
  • Last but not least, encourage a culture where employees interact with each other rather than just being hooked on to social media or similar platforms

If used the right way, technology can be used to boost productivity. However, it’s important to strike a balance between using technology for work and for your benefit. Remember that productivity, collaboration, and communications are very closely related — and methodical use of the three will help in business gains.

Jappreet Sethi

Jappreet Sethi
I am a HR & Business Strategy professional with experience of leading HR & People Consulting practice of multinational professional services firms. I specialize in designing & delivering dynamic learning experiences in service of human development. I have over a decade of experience across various facets of HR and Process Consulting. I am a Six-Sigma Black Belt along with a certification in using Lean for process improvement. I am also a certified user for psychometric instruments like MBTI, FIRO, CPI & Saville Consulting Suite; I am among the few in India who specialize in using Art and Drama for Leadership Development and Personal Counseling. I have been rated twice as one of the Top 100 employee engagement experts in the world by a New York Times bestselling author.

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