This article was first published on ReadWrite.
Technology tools are mostly a blessing. However, there are many tech pitfalls that employees can fall into that kill productivity. Here’s how to avoid those unproductive tech habits.
Technology has paved the way for organizations to do better, create pioneering processes, and deliver above expectations. There is no doubt about that. One can’t imagine what the modern world would look like without digitization, which defines every aspect of our lives. However, like all things, technology has its downsides, too, most of which we are aware of.
However, a downside that often misses our eye is our tech habits. We are so inclined to use technology for everything that we sometimes fail to differentiate between usefulness and unproductive tech habits. Organizations suffer the consequences, as their employees often engage in unproductive tech habits while at work without knowing.
In fact, a Forbes article states that more than 90% of employees waste anywhere between 15% to 40% of their workday due to technology. This problem is further exacerbated when it comes to hybrid/remote work, as there exist higher chances of these tech habits taking over the workday of employees.
So, what are these tech habits that we are talking about?
Mails in themselves lead to one of the most unproductive tech habits. While a great tool to communicate, we know how our inbox is flooded by spam, promotional emails, emails from linked accounts, etc. Checking our inbox each time a notification pops up is an unproductive tech habit. It leads to distractions for no good reason and makes it really hard to focus for long periods.
Similarly, but on a larger level, phones contain multiple apps that send notifications, making it hard for employees to focus. In addition to personal apps, many work-related apps are also guilty of bringing in this distraction. Once the attention span is captured through such notifications, it usually paves the way for mindless scrolling and phubbing at work.
We understand the irony, but missing out on the right tech tools and platforms is detrimental. Technology has pioneering solutions to deal with its pitfalls, and the onus lies on business users to introduce tech tools before it is too late.
The absence of clear ownership of tasks is an example of mismanagement that lead to unproductive results and dissatisfaction. People hop on to unnecessary calls and meetings, draining their bandwidth and diverting their attention from projects that would benefit higher.
Easy access to digital tools has helped humans find quick solutions but, at the same time, sometimes has handicapped their thought processes. Turning towards apps like “Google” for queries you have in your mind leaves little or no room for your thoughts to wander and think. An easy way out of this tech habit is to stop yourself and think without asking “Google” for your answer.
While the list of unproductive tech habits is much longer, we focus on the ones that are most common in our everyday lives and often escape our radar in ways to increase productivity. Most of those readings would relate to the incidents we have mentioned.
Now, where can an organization step in this regard? Indeed, they can not implement 360-degree monitoring systems to supervise every employee and breach their privacy. But the issue can not be allowed to slide as well, as these unproductive tech habits can have disastrous business consequences.
There’s a relatively easy way out of this dilemma. While organizations can not dictate how employees use their devices or monitor them, they can create an environment conducive to promoting productive workplace tech habits.
The corporate culture is created to enable employees to use their bandwidth on just the right tasks and support them in showcasing their peak performance.
Don’t let technology be a pitfall! It can sometimes cause unexpected problems, but fear not! With these savvy tips and best practices, you’ll be equipped to avoid the most common tech pitfalls. So, buckle up, and let’s dive in!
Organizations can encourage a maximum character count on emails to ensure that long emails do not take up their employees’ workday. Email threads should be updated frequently to provide that only relevant people are added to such conversations. A great practice would be to start such threads with the involvement of only necessary people.
This will enable them to look into their unproductive tech habits and find ways to kick them off. Workshops and talks from mindfulness and productivity experts can help to sensitize employees about changing the structure of their workday. From having dedicated time slots to check mail to productivity apps to optimizing and minimizing notifications, there’s a lot that is done to bring back attention where it matters the most.
Organizations and managers take responsibility and assign process owners for various tasks and roles to ensure no productivity is lost due to confusion regarding the same. This allows employees only to receive communication for all that is relevant and save their bandwidth.
Being on an active lookout for technology opportunities to transform and revolutionize multiple organizational processes is an absolute must. Falling behind on adopting them leads to productivity losses and can even result in the loss of competitive advantage for many organizations.
Kicking away unproductive tech habits is not an overnight process and would require constant commitment and awareness from both organizations and their employees. However, once achieved, the benefits of the same for an organization would surely make a mark.
Even more, overcoming these habits would have a holistic impact on the personal and professional lives of employees. With increased mindfulness and more bandwidth, they could forge better Relationships and have high morale. This will allow them to bring their best self to work and have an overall impact on their emotions and attitude.
Technology habits are hard to let go of. That is why we call them habits in the first place. With the right tech solution at your disposal and the right purpose, you can avoid developing unproductive tech habits. It’s time you ditch your unproductive tech habits and focus on the ones that help you improve.
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