With the leaps and bounds that technology makes every day, you would think that some new gadget or software would be the most productive tool to use. It’s rare to go a day without some new concept or invention making headlines. Except one study shows some surprising results on what office workers are actually using.
We’re big fans of using different productivity tools and creating methods for increasing growth. There are so many plug-ins, apps, and new methods coming out on a daily basis. So it came as a shock to read that most people aren’t using new tools to be more productive. In fact, they’re using the old tried and true methods. Silicon Angle released an article based on a survey by The Pew Research center that details exactly what workers are using. Over 60% of the 535 workers that were surveyed said that email was the most important tool they use. That number changes to 78% where office workers are concerned. They’re also more likely to use land-lines–47% showing preference toward being hardwired in over mobile phones. Of course, you have to take into account those that sit at a desk all day compared to those who are on the road during normal business hours.
“But the importance of smartphones and tablets varies greatly from worker to worker. Factors such as billing, which is a notorious pain point when it comes to business calls on personal devices, can make the landline more convenient for employees who spend most of their time in the office. Office dwellers who take work home, however, are more likely to favor their own handsets over the company telephone for the very same logistical reasons.”
Those who telecommute reported that their smartphones are extremely important as did Internet workers who work remotely. The fact that telecommuting has been growing certainly contributes to the rise in smartphone and tablet use. So where does social media rank across the board? Pretty low. Only around 4% say it’s important to their productivity. And how about having access to the internet? We know that many managers fear that internet capabilities could impact productivity. But have no fear, because only 9% of in-office workers and 3% of remote employees reported that being constantly connected to the internet actually affects their efficiency. 46% of those surveyed reported that their productivity has improved and 39% say that digital tools like email allows them greater flexibility with their work hours.
But does that flexibility come at a cost? Of course.
35% of participants reported that flexibility causes them to work more as a result. That number hikes up to 47% where office workers are concerned. But Pew reports that they are also twice as likely to be able to enjoy a more flexible schedule when compared to blue-collar peers. So what does that mean for companies that are creating new gadgets and software? Maybe it’s time to switch gears and center new designs around email or the internet. Most companies can’t get their hands on brand new technology, which may be why so many workers cling to the old ways of doing things (because they have to).
There is something to be said however for the saying, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Despite our generation’s need for continual change and upgrading, the old adage is certainly a concept difficult to argue against if a process method is working well and efficiently as is.
Looking for more tips to help you become efficient? Take a moment to reach out to one of our business process improvement consultants today for more information!