Technology’s impact on our lives is increasing. Technology begets more technology. Some people mistake this for progress. However, as I have mentioned so many times before, technological innovation without philosophical evolution is not progress.
Let’s look at personal productivity in the workplace. First off, where exactly is the workplace today? Is it simply our offices? What about when we answer business emails on our laptops at home? How about when we are out on the weekend with our family and we find ourselves responding to business related texts on our smartphones? You see, the workplace today can be virtually anywhere and everywhere.
Being able to work from a variety of places does have its value. Yet, it can also eat into our time of personal enjoyment, as well as impact basic chores we have to take care of at home. Some people may claim this does not matter, that in this competitive world being connected to work at all times is what counts.
Of course, there is the flipside to this. If we sit in our offices, spending time logging into the various social media platforms available to us, so that we may update people on what we had for lunch or what we are doing on the weekend, we detract from our workplace productivity.
Now, some people might claim that the old work model is not useful. They will say it does not take into account the flexibility that technology has delivered to us. They will claim that the socializing we do online during work is offset by the work related texts and emails we deal with in our personal time. Of course, they would be wrong.
Consider high level athletes. Imagine them taking breaks throughout their practices so that they might send texts and answer emails. Do you think this lack of focus will hurt them? You know it will.
You see, technology is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It is how we use that tool that makes it effective. If we do not pay attention to our families because we are too busy working on our laptops or phones, we detract from the quality of our lives and that will ultimately impact our efficacy at work. And when we socialize at work, musing on the social media about that tasty pizza we had last weekend, we deal a blow to productivity.
Planned flexibility is fine. However, there is a time and place for work and there is a time and place for family, chores at home and enjoyment. Losing our focus and, consequently, diluting our efforts and then blaming it on technology is like blaming a hammer for breaking a vase.
Using technology to be more productive is up to us, not our tools.
Image courtesy of [pakorn] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.
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