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The Enigma That is Productivity

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Technology has exploded over the past few years. In turn, we all feel so much more efficient. But why don’t the statistics reflect that?

Even though we think we’re multitasking, yielding an abundant amount of work in shorter periods of time thanks to all the upgrades around us, the numbers tell a different story. According to the US productivity statistics for Q1 of 2013 and the past couple years, the stats come as a shock:

Productivity Improvements for Q1 2013: 0.5% (annualized)
Productivity Improvements for 2012: 0.7%
Productivity Improvements for 2011: 0.6%

Jeff Bussgang discussed his thoughts behind the paradox that is productivity over at VentureBeat:

New technologies take time to absorb, refine, and make mainstream. Computer software can be reprogrammed quickly. Humans can’t.

How could this be? We’re pretty smart, right? We can adapt, can’t we? In reality, the same thing occurred back in 1986. MIT Economist Robert Solow saw this trend and had this to say:

You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.

We have discussed some of Solow’s thoughts on employee productivity before. So what could be the reason behind this? The graph below was made years ago yet still rings true today.

The Next Big Thing

© Forrester Research

So what does that tell us? It actually takes us a pretty long time to get used to new gadgets and brand new technology. Have you ever sat in front of a new program on your computer and knew exactly what you were doing? Of course not. You need to take the time to learn how to properly use it and even more time to really grasp all the tricks and shortcuts.

Innovation and workplace productivity go hand-in-hand. The only way to get better at a process is to admit you could be going about the process better. Reach out to the business improvement consultants here at AccelaWork if you would like more information on how to truly come to your full potential!

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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