Does technology make us more productive... or less?
We see you out there - looking down at your electronic devices as you walk down the street, sitting on buses & trains or at a restaurant during dinner conversation. Checking email, Facebook & Twitter are certainly part of "the fabric of our lives" and we're right there with ya. Social media is an important part of any marketing strategy and we embrace it - but do you ever wonder how it affects productivity? Your employees'...or your own? How about your personal relationships?

Obviously, technology has greatly improved products and services in countless industries, producing devices and services that improve our quality of life and often save lives. But for the day-to-day employee, is time spent on social media cutting into productivity? And is it measurable? In contrast, if you are producing is substandard quality widget, you can make adjustments to the quality and that is indeed measurable. But in the service industry, how do you measure minutes lost by checking in on social media throughout the work day?

Turns out it is hard to quantify. There is no shortage of coverage on this topic, but we found an article by Caroline Baum from Bloomberg News interesting. She says when devices help us produce more output with less labor, prices fall, real wages rise and we are all better off. Technology is always equated with good - more is better. But she wonders if some of the latest innovations are productivity-enhancing or just a waste of time.

"If we as a nation are twittering our lives away, surely it must be manifesting itself in statistics," she says. It makes logical sense that if you are spending more time on Facebook and Twitter than devoting time to your actual work, quality will suffer. But it's hard to prove.
She contacted the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the monthly calculation used to calculate productivity is based on total hours worked and revenue. In a service industry, it's hard to quantify lost productivity due to tweeting.

We think it comes down to common sense. If you are able to complete your work in a timely manner & your quality is top-notch, then you probably don't have anything to worry about. But if your time on social media is starting to affect your productivity, you might want to put away your phone and get back on that project. 

Hey... that'd make a good Facebook post.....

1 comment:

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