Keeping It Simple: A Study In Office Technology And Productivity
In the digital age, technology is supposed to help us be more efficient in the workplace. Despite this, it can have the opposite effect on many employees, particularly if it is difficult to use or implement into existing office routines.
Recent research conducted by Sharp revealed that many workers admitted to avoiding technology if it is too complex, with the same focus group suggesting that more user-friendly tools would almost certainly help them to be more open to embracing technology. This begs the question: is it possible to simplify office tech without compromising on results?
Training creates confidence
Over half of survey respondents agreed that technology in the workplace could be “restrictive and/or limiting”, with as many as one third of office-based employees admitting to pretending a device, such as a printer or computer, was broken, so that they could avoid using it.
Interestingly, 45% of millennials – many of whom have never experienced working life without computers and internet connectivity – also agreed to avoiding office technology, claiming it was too complicated. If anything, this proves that it’s less a case of out of touch older office workers struggling with new tools, and more a case of a dearth of regular tech training creating a barrier to getting the most out of office hardware and software.
By regularly training multiple employees on the facets of a device or program, businesses can future-proof themselves against falling into a situation where a minority of employees hold a monopoly on how to organise online meetings, to name one example.
Of course, it’s undeniable that some technology simply isn’t designed with the user experience in mind, particularly if it’s more than a decade old. Frustrating, clunky and complicated interfaces can actually de-motivate staff and decrease productivity. Thankfully, many business leaders are recognising this and calling for new ideas to make the workplace a more enjoyable – and less frustrating – place to be, as far as technology goes.
Stuart Sykes, the Managing Director for Sharp UK, agrees. He said, “It’s important we welcome new ideas and new insights and provide smarter technology that is as easy to use as consumer devices.”
If the results of recent studies are to be believed, one thing’s for certain: the demand for more user-friendly apps and devices, coupled with more accessible opportunities for development, ensures that the future of office technology is bright.