Posted in Career Best Practices
Drones, self-driving cars and robot armies are just a few of the technological innovations today's employers are using to ramp-up productivity.
And with good reason. In many cases, technology exponentially increases efficiency by reducing down-time, mistakes and labor-intensive work.
But when it comes to productivity, technology can be as harmful as it is helpful. Case in point? A 2016 Harris Poll national online survey cited cell phones/texting, the Internet and social media as three of the top-four biggest productivity killers in the workplace.
If your organization is like most, technology is both ubiquitous and indispensable. However, it can also create huge distractions that drastically reduce productivity. Since you can't eliminate it, how can you make sure technology is a help and not a hindrance?
Try powering down those devices – to power up focus, creativity and yes, productivity! While you may initially get a little pushback from connectivity-driven millennials, these tips for using technology intentionally can greatly benefit your business in the long run:
Make brainstorming sessions technology-free. Research has proven that multitasking just doesn't work. Our brains focus on concepts sequentially – and really can't pay attention to two things at once. So if you want your employees to really focus on developing new ideas or solutions, ask them to leave their phones, tablets and laptops at their desks during brainstorming meetings or other important meetings. Freed from distractions, their minds will be better able to focus on the task at hand.
Train employees to be disciplined about tech. Continual task-switching, incessant email-checking and non-stop dings, pings and buzzes make your team distracted – and inefficient. Teach employees better ways to manage their workflow and use technology in a disciplined way:
- Batch email-checking to a few key times during the day.
- Silence phones and other notifications to minimize interruptions.
- Block out time for high-focus work.
- Take frequent breaks. Spending a few minutes online can be a welcome distraction that actually boosts productivity – if it's planned, limited in duration, and significantly different from the type of work you're doing. Be sure, however, to alternate technology-driven breaks (e.g., checking personal texts or social media updates) with physical breaks (e.g., stretching or taking a quick walk) to keep energy levels and focus high.
Create tech-free zones and policies. Designate spaces in your office where employees can go to disconnect and complete high-focus work. Then, create formal policies which not only make it acceptable, but actually encourage team members to selectively cut the digital cord. When you support a tech-free initiative with a practical plan, adoption rates will be much higher – and success much more likely.
Lead by example. Your employees will take their tech-usage cues from you. If you're checking emails during meetings, or looking down at your phone when you should be making eye contact with a staff member, you're sending a powerful message: technology trumps people. So make a conscious effort to model disciplined behavior when it comes to technology. When you power off your devices, you set a great example – and set the stage for meaningful interactions, increased focus and higher productivity.
Increase Productivity with PrideStaff
With national resources, and a full complement of staffing and placement services, PrideStaff can tailor a workforce solution to help you improve productivity. Increase efficiency. And seamlessly flex your workforce to match changing demands. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more.