Technostress Hampers Productivity At Workplace: Microsoft
Technology can come over as a distraction for workers rather than make them more productive, states a survey by software giant Microsoft.
Many of the respondents questioned said a continuous stream of emails, messages, and notifications barred them from concentrating.
Others expressed that the way their company deployed technology also blocked them from being more productive.
An expert said many staff suffered high levels of technostress.
The study which surveyed views in 21 European nations including the UK, found that only 11.4 percent of Europeans workers said they felt highly productive.
“Modern workers have an abundance of technology at their fingertips,” the report said. “But this availability doesn’t necessarily translate into impact.”
Enormous updates and notifications from social media made people less productive, it said, equally responsible are other factors connected to technology.
The study highlights the dangers of “constant connectivity” which brought with it the expectation that staff would respond at all hours to messages and other requests.
Microsoft points out that the company’s digital culture could improve workers’ productivity and make them feel more involved.
As per the report, digital culture covered the way a company viewed and used technology. This includes organizations information what they wanted to do with the software and systems they adopted and also giving the staff appropriate training and other help to use it.
The companies which claims having a strong digital culture about 22 percent of employees felt highly productive, the report said.
“It’s the unintended consequences you have to think through when you deploy technology,” BBC quoted Sir Cary Cooper, a professor of organizational psychology at the Manchester Business School as saying, who has written extensively on the technostress staff can suffer.
“We do not want to throw the technology out because it’s very good for communications, but we have not developed good guidelines on what counts as productive use of it,” he said.
“There’s a whole field now called ‘technostress’ in management science,” Sir Cary told the BBC, saying it dealt with the negative consequence of adopting novel computer systems or software.
“Technologies can overload people and make them less productive because they get caught up in it rather than use it to deliver a service or a product.”
Email had been named as the “second most damaging issue” by large companies who were members of the UK’s National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work, that he helped to coordinate, said Sir Cary.
Realising this, many firms now limits when emails can be sent in an effort to ease the load on the employees, he said.
“Productivity comes from creative interchange,” he said. “It does not come from people sitting in front of machines sending emails.”
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