A new study from Henley Business School may have contradicted what we’re previously thought about the use of technology in the workplace.
The study revealed that almost 70% of workers don’t feel that new technology has increased their productivity. 34% of those at middle management level or above said that technology had actually hindered their productivity. 41% of men said that new tech had got in the way. In comparison, only 32% of women felt they could say the same.
Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega, a digital marketing lecturer suggested that people were experiencing a “technology overload”.
He said: “The findings from this study suggest that employees are struggling to cope with the current environment that is hyper-charged with technology. Technological change and adoption are no longer limited to the personal computer and the software that computers run. Tech has now made our day-to-day life more comfortable and ‘efficient’.
It appears from the findings of this study that employees are perceiving technology as increasingly becoming a source of distraction and hindrance to being productive.”
Does technology help?
When thinking about the business they work in as a whole, under a third said that they felt new tech had increased consumer awareness of their company.
A quarter of people said that new technology had improved their business’s overseas growth. So while some people have a more positive opinion of tech in the workplace and in the business world, a lot of people still regard it as unhelpful.
How can businesses improve productivity?
Dr Perez-Vega highlighted that it was up to company bosses to ensure that people are well equipped to deal with the rise of new tech and advances that affect their business so that they become less of a hinderance.
“The implications of these findings are significant. The trend of using more technology in the workplace will not stop, in fact, technology advancements will keep pushing the boundaries of the level of sophistication of the tasks it performs. Employees need to develop the skills to better deal with this hyper-technological environment, as stagnant productivity can accelerate the adoption of more technology.”
With the rise of things like automation and AI, people who aren’t keeping up with the latest tech and changes in the industry they work in could end up being left behind and losing their jobs.
“Employers and policy makers need to prepare for these changes too, as the advantages to replace an ever more unproductive workforce with Artificial Intelligence can lead to wider societal change, to which we are still unprepared.”
Do you think tech helps or hinders? How are you going to deal with the future of tech in your business? Let us know your thoughts.