Productivity is critical to the growth of any business. Given that the Digital Age is upon us and the eager beavers of the workforce quickly adapted to the use of the digital tools provided by this age of technology, there should be an increase in productivity at work…is there though? OMG am I shooting myself in the foot with this question? Let the debate begin……Aanndd GO!!
There are many different categories of digital tools. Some of which are:
- Process Automation Tools (some of which are custom software solutions to aid with digital transformation)
- Social Media Tools
- Communication and Collaboration Tools
- Project Management Tools
- Document Creation Tools
- File Storage Tools (Cloud Storage)
- Idea Management Tools
- Graphic Design Tools
- Digital Learning Tools
- Digital Marketing Tools
Geesh!! I’m out of breath. Great list though right?
Accompanying these digital tools are the devices on which they operate namely, laptops, desktops, tablets and the master of all, the smartphone (we’re all guilty of relying, perhaps too heavily on our phones, even when we are at work).
We should all be on top of our game with all these digital aids and devices at our fingertips, right? Many of these tools and devices have helped businesses transform, progress and increase staff productivity. On the other hand some tools like social media and mobile applications can distract us from our tasks at work; a quick browse turns into an hour on social media or an hour trying to figure out how to use an app. Tsk! Tsk! You time wasters. We should also bear in mind that these tools and the devices on which they operate are usually dependent on a stable internet connection. So what happens if you are having internet connectivity issues or a server for one of these tools goes down? Well I’m sure you made some contingency plan for situations like this (some backup plan or a manual process kicks in) and your network guy is on top of it.
There is also the issue of procrastination for those who believe that these tools are the Holy Grail or lifesavers, so there is no rush to complete or execute on a given task. But procrastinators beware, you may get in trouble. A lot of these applications, especially desktop versions, are keeping a watchful eye on you with user activity audit logs. Some even take random screenshots and send to the administrator or your employer. Even low end digital tools like Google Docs have version control and tells you when it was last edited, by whom and specifically what that edit was. It allows users with the right permissions to watch you work (with the right access they can view your work as you work. Disguised as collaboration…isn’t that sweet!)
Features like these in the digital tools we use, may help us to keep distractions at bay, focus a little longer and a little harder to attain optimum productivity. These tools are generally easy to use, transparent and trackable. They provide a communication system that gives employees a central location for all work related communication. They encourage collaboration and real time interaction which allows individuals to work on documents at the same time. In essence these are the tools that invoke effective time management and efficient collaboration hence increasing productivity.
So, in my humble opinion, I believe the level of productivity exhibited is dependent on the individual, their level of discipline and commitment to completing assigned tasks, and not the tools that are used to accomplish these tasks.
Thought I was going somewhere else with this right? Nice Save Whew!!