Chrystal Savage, Staff Writer |
Ray Bradbury warned of a technology takeover in his acclaimed science fiction novel, “Fahrenheit 45.” The Bible heeds a similar claim, and now super sized technology corporations are doing the same. Microsoft, a software corporation, recently published a report which states that, of the 20,000 employees surveyed of 21 European nations, 88.6 percent of them explained that they did not feel highly productive. An article published by BBC ambiguously glosses over the issues and claims of the company.
Essentially, Microsoft claims that because in the modern age employees have endless access to technology and various social media platforms, they hypothetically should be less productive. The report goes on to assert a dependent variable between the accessibility of technology and employee productivity, but acknowledges that, “this availability doesn’t necessarily translate into impact.” Not only have other changes in the workplace simultaneously occurred alongside the progression of technology, the reason for this seemingly sudden spike in distracted workers could be simply because we are looking for a problematic aspect of the workplace; it just so happens that technology is an easy target, in light of current conversations about its effects on society.
Does “constant connectivity” and unrelenting blue light exposure have its consequences? Undoubtedly. But, according to BBC, so does “flexible working regimes [that] many firms [have which assumes] that people who [work] longer hours [should] be more productive.” This is an uninformed approach. The generally expected attention span for a healthy and able adult is roughly 20 minutes. Therefore, to expect that employees don’t naturally require mental recharges throughout the day, is likely part of the problem of productivity. Arguably, the nearly 89 percent of employees surveyed saying they felt less productive may contribute to the majority of employees who attempt to remain disconnected throughout the day.
As a student myself, I can vouch that during a less than engaging class lecture, it does a world of good, as far as mental concentration is concerned, to get up, walk to the bathroom, get a drink, stretch your legs, check your social media accounts or even respond to an email from a professor or text from a roommate or parent. Upon returning to the lecture, your ability to focus is much higher than it was in the moment you decided to take a mental break.
Technology in the workplace should really be the least of everyone’s worries. There are benefits to being constantly connected to your network, even if your eyes aren’t always scanning the screen. The real concern technology brings is when it starts invading family and personal time, distracts drivers, and allows for an increased level of criminal activity to occur.
Technology as a whole has made our nation far more productive than conceivable without it. The frequent use of technology should be monitored in the workplace, but should not be banned or prohibited in its entirety.