These new tools come with the hope and promise of making life easier for employees, provide more intelligent and structured ways of getting work done and make communication with each other barrier-free. So many companies are coming up with new messaging, chat and video communication systems.
Is this new wave of tools and technologies actually helping to enhance employee performance, or it is creating chaos with unending interruptions, emails, and chats?
Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report of 2018 asked the question of productivity of the new workplace to companies across the globe. In the report, 47 percent of respondents said that it is a very important concern. Especially when the global workforce productivity growth is at its lowest in two decades.
Social media and instant messaging apps have taken over our lives in all spheres. With the explosion of smartphones and applications, personal interactions are also mostly done through these apps. This is also migrating to work lives, as employees are using tools to communicate. 74% of respondents in the report regularly use text messaging for personal communications. Texting has become very common at work, with 18.7 billion text messages being sent every single day.
As a result of the availability of so many tools, face to face interactions are expected to decrease in the future. This has also given more strength to the rise of a gig economy filled with contractual workers, freelancers, and consultants. Physical meetings are also getting replaced by virtual collaborations across countries and continents, making geography a very simple problem to solve. AI as also entered into team management tools, helping people get recommendations to find the right kind of information, respond to the right message and filter out what’s most critical to take note of.
With so many advantages of new tools, organizations will continue to see the continuous introduction and adoption of them. In order to reap the benefits of these new tools, it is important to understand the cost and benefits of each, and how they align with business goals. These tools and their features need to be well researched by managers so that they pick only those that are truly instrumental in achieving business goals. All of this will depend on the nature of the product, the market, customers, employees and the mission of the company.
Blindly adding more and more tools to teams does not always mean higher productivity and better performance. In the Global Human Capital Trends Report 2018, 71 percent of respondents believed that these new tools improve their personal productivity. However, 47 percent showed concern about whether these tools actually have an impact on productivity overall.
Deloitte suggests that these communication tools need to be combined with the right physical space design and leadership approached, to achieve goals that make companies succeed. This can be achieved through collaboration between HR, IT and business to build an integrated, customized work environment that can benefit from the best in class technology.
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