Topic The Impact of Digital Tools on Work Productivity

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The world of business is changing fast to become more digital.Today, personnel work together more than previously, employing adventtechnologies for working as teams, across geographies. Additionally,individuals from a new generation are becoming part of the workingforce. The new entrants are knowledgeable in almost all digitaltools. Hence, demand more autonomy to use them in work management.This explains the proliferation of digital tools, like tablets,social networking platforms, electronic mail, internet and dataanalytics among others. Digital tools refer to any technologicaldevices that make it possible for personnel to access the internetand communicate fast and share ideas. The topic is motivated by theincreasing use of digital technology at workplaces. Realizing thatdigital tools will soon become the main method for employees tocomplete task, the impact on productivity cannot be underestimated.Hence, my research will focus on discussing either how digital toolshave positively or negatively affected productivity at work.

Discussion

Digital tools are not possible to eliminate from the workenvironment. In actuality, many organizations are incorporatingtechnology in their operations due to its effectiveness in improvingworking conditions, which in turn motivates workers to be moreproductive.

In a nutshell, the positive impact of digital tools on personnelinvolves enhancing job effectiveness. Digital tools make it easierfor workers to execute their tasks via the use of more effectivetechniques. When work is easier to complete, the outcomes areimproved accuracy, timeliness and normally reduced strain forpersonnel who have to work in labor-intensive roles. An illustrationis workers that employ software applications. It enhances theircreation of work reports excel documents and diverse documents withmore ease as well as more clear and comprehensible presentations.

Using digital tools to bridge the gap amid workers in differentgeographic locations ensures that tasks take less time to complete.Personnel do not have to waste time travelling as they cancommunicate via social networks, electronic mails among other tools.Technology enhances training chances for personnel. An illustrationis webinars, which is effective in facilitating training for a largeworkforce. When workers receive more training, they perform rolesbetter, resonated to more productivity. Flexibility has been possibleto achieve with the use of technology. Employees can complete urgenttasks at home, and at the same time be in touch with other personnelat work. Telecommuting largely improves work satisfaction and in turnperformance.

However, digital tools do not always result in increasedproductivity. The introduction of social media means that employeesmay spend more time interacting with allies, sharing stories orpictures instead of working. Wasting time that should be spentworking means that tasks are not completed in time. Digital toolshave resulted in a productivity crisis. Despite the fact that abovetwo hundred million working Americans representing the digitalpersonnel, just one in ten can classify themselves as skillful withworkplace digital tools they employ at workplaces.

In the research, I will use journals, books and articles to getinformation. The use of a variety of sources ensures that I getdiverse points from different authors. In specific, journals are animportant source because they are peer reviewed, meaning that theinformation has been written by experts in the area of study. Inaddition, most articles have been reviewed, which makes it possibleto select authentic sources to use. I will use different subtopics inresearching on the main topic. Two of the sources that I will use indoing the research are The Shazam Effect and How ComputersChange the Way we Think. The first article is important inexplaining how technology has resulted in good business for recordcompanies and endeavor to relate this to work productivity. Thesecond article will be important in explaining the negative influenceof technology on work. An illustration provided in the article is howdigital tools like PowerPoint reduce productivity, and the use ofword means that personnel become less creative.

Conclusion

I will begin the research with an introduction explaining howdigital tools have become widespread in places of work. Theintroduction also involves a thesis statement on the focus of thepaper. I will then move to the following section, which is on themain body of the paper. I will divide the main body into differentsubheadings as follows:

Digital tools used at work – the section informs on what digitaltools are used in the places of employment. There are many digitaltools, and it is important to be clear on which ones form the focusfor this research. In this section, I will also discuss the relevanceof digital tools at work places.

The positive impact – In this section I will demonstrate howdigital tools positively impact productivity by increasingeffectiveness, bridge the gap amid workers from different geographiclocations, ensure tasks take less time to complete and supportsflexibility.

The negative impact – In this section I will discuss how digitaltools reduced productivity by facilitating time wasting via digitaltools that connect personnel to social media. Digital tools have ledto a productivity crisis.

Conclusion – This section is a summary of all the points that havebeen discussed in the entire research.

While working on the paper, I will begin by creating an outline andincluding points and sources that will be used for every subheading.After this, I will start working on a draft that includes a briefsummary of the points and sources to use in every section. Finally, Iwill begin working on the final paper.

Annotated Bibliography

Belicove, Mikal E. Do social tools really hurt employee productivity?Entrepreneur, 31 May 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2015. &lthttp://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219719 &gt

Belicove discusses how digital tools used at workplaces with theintention of improving productivity, might result in the opposite.The author incorporates research, which has been conducted onemployees from marketing, law, human resources and sales jobs,resulting in the conclusion that digital tools lead to economiclosses for businesses because of lost hours. This is because digitaltools cause distractions and personnel are less likely to use thetools for work purposes.

Chapman, Nigel P, and JennyChapman.&nbspDigitalMedia Tools. Chichester,England: John Wiley, 2007.Print.

The book begins by defining what digital tools are, there uses andsignificance to modern day organizations. Chapman and Chapman furtherexplain the pros and demerits arising from continuous incorporationof different digital tools at workplaces. Generally, the authorsfocus on digital media tools and how they can be incorporated inorganizations.

Cortada, James W.&nbspTheDigital Hand: Volume Iii.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

The book explains how computers have transformed the job of personnelin the public sector. An illustration is provided of the IRS, whichuses computers to speed up electronic filing. The book supportstechnology at work, because it eases the job of workers ensuring theywork fast and serve more customers.

Deloitte. Digital collaboration delivering innovation,productivity and happiness, (2013): 1-23.

The article informs on the crucial function technology plays inallowing companies to form a work surrounding, which supports theirpersonnel’s life objectives. In addition, is technology’srelevance in harnessing workers’ creativity, resulting inorganizational economic value. The article further explains howricher communication and sharing documents through digital toolsimproves productivity for workers.

Grovo. How the digital skills gap is killing productivity andwhat you can do about it, (n.d): 1- 16. &lthttp://a1.grovo.com/asset/whitepapers/Grovo-Digital-Skills-Gap-whitepaper.pdf&gt

The source explains how introducing digital tools in workplaces hasbeen attributed to the United States productivity challenges.Research demonstrates that labor productivity development in thenation has dropped to levels never witnessed prior to digitalrevolution. The decline is evident in the macroeconomic as well asfirm level, because of the inability of workers to become moreproductive.

Hartley, Matt. Can social media make us more productive? FinancialPost, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2015. &lthttp://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/04/can-social-media-make-us- more-productive/?__lsa=0d42-e6e6&gt

Hartley explains how permitting personnel to access social media andother digital tools does not necessarily resonate to a negativeeffect on productivity. The article informs that previouslyorganizations would block access to social media or messaging apps.The presumption was that time spent using digital tools is time thatcould be spent working. However, technology like instant messagingare now integral in saving communication time, which makes digitaltools a means of enhancing productivity.

Local Government Association. Transforming local publicservices using technology and digital tools and approaches, (Jun.2014): 1-43.

The article acknowledges the widespread presence of digital tools,which have altered how businesses organize work, communicate and gainaccess to information among other uses. In addition is explaining howdigital tools like mobile technology and the internet have resultedin employees that are more productive.

Miller, Paul.&nbspTheDigital Renaissance of Work: Delivering Digital Workplaces Fit forthe Future, 2014.Print.

The authors note that there are numerous work capabilities, whicharise from using digital tools in workplaces. The source furthernotes that employees who are able to access digital tools provided byemployers become more productive, contrary to those restricted fromusing technology to access, for instance social sites.

Purcell, Kristen and Rainie, Lee. Email and the internet are thedominant technological tools in American workplaces. Pew ResearchCenter, 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

The authors explain how digital technology has altered the workenvironment by changing how personnel execute work activities. Thearticle further notes the widespread use of the internet and email inworkplaces. It is apparent that employees consider the email andinternet as the most important digital tool in doing their work.Social network sites seem to rate lower on their relevance toworking.

Thomas, Robert J., Kass, Alex and Davarzani, Ladan. From lookingdigital to being digital: The impact of technology on the future ofwork. Accenture Institute for High Performance, (2014): 5-40.

The authors note that in the coming years, digital tools willdramatically alter the work outcomes as well as experiences ofpersonnel. Hence, result in an improved productivity via physical,collaborative and cognitive augmenting. Further is the view thatdigital tools at work advance the ability of workers to perform workin turn positively impacting productivity.

Final Draft

Digital tools regards to a collection of advent technologies, whichimprove the gathering and evaluating of information in manners thatimprove the capability of human beings. They are technologicaldevices that make it possible for personnel to access the internet,communicate fast and share ideas. Digital technology has beenomnipresent in United States workplaces. Computers have taken overwork operations for many years, and with technological developments,new digital tools continue to spread in use in the places of work.The entry of the digital generation to workplaces also increases theuse of technology at work. As a result, there has been commentaryconcerning the impacts of digital tools on work productivity. Theresearch focuses on demonstrating how digital tools have resulted ina positive impact on work productivity.

Discussion

Digital tools

In the coming five years, emerging digital technologies willremarkably change work outcomes, as well as experiences for workersof all kinds. Digital tools will assist organizations react toaltering business situations in real time (Thomas, Kass and Davarzani6). Most important is the role of digital tools in altering thefuture of work via improving productivity. The contribution oftechnology in improving employee productivity was highest in the 90sand 2000s, arising from the emergence in use of mobilecommunications. In the 90s, major technologies like Microsoft,Internet and Google were introduced (Chapman and Chapman 3). In thesimilar years, mobile telephones were invented resulting in agroundbreaking utilization of technology in workplaces. Over theyears, there have been new digital tools created to suit workingenvironments. Having technology in offices has facilitated theability of personnel to work smarter, thus resulting in becoming moreproductive.

There are many digital tools applicable in workplaces. The mostwidespread tools are electronic mails, the internet, social networksand smart phones. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center,most American employees consider the internet and electronic mail asthe most important digital tools at work. Six in every ten USemployees that employ the internet state that the internet is verycrucial when handling their jobs, while 54% depict the same viewconcerning email (Purcell and Rainie 1). A smaller percentage ofemployees consider smart phones and social network sites, such asfacebook, LinkedIn or twitter as having massive relevance to theirroles, though they are still important. Important to note is thatmost workers state that using email, cell phones and the internetalters their work experiences in three manners. One is expanding thefigure of persons outside the organization that an employeecommunicates with. Technology connects personnel in manners thatenhance communication as well as connectivity (Miller 16). Thus,creating more work related networks. Second, results in more flexibleworking hours and last, improves time that is spent working (Purcelland Rainie 1). As a result, digital tools have made employees moreproductive because most of their time is spent using the tools tocomplete their work. When employees increase the number of hours,they work, it means that they put more effort into what they aredoing, and this in turn increases productivity.

Positive impact

Digital tools play the important function of allowing companies toform a work surrounding, which backs the life objectives of theirworkers, while at the same time improving their personal and generalcreativity. The coming generations of enterprise productivity as wellas partnership tools, which include improved communications, sharingof files and co-creating have an important function to play in thecreation of a surrounding that supports the life objectives ofpersonnel. Research demonstrates that personnel depict moresatisfaction with their places of employment when able to accessdigital tools (Deloitte 1). When merged with a culture, whichenhances innovativeness, digital tools ensures that personnel arehappier with their places of employment. Hence, they will work harderto meet the objectives of the company, which means becoming moreproductive. At this digital age, technology is relevant in resultingin openness. On the other hand, openness connects to involvement andmost importantly a happy workforce, which will result in companysuccess.

Digital tools enhance collaboration. Human beings are naturallysocial, and with the emergence of technology, they have becomedigitally social. Hence, it is not surprising that digitalcollaboration is basic to work happiness. Employees are 17% morelikely to be content with their places of employment when they areable to access efficient digital tools (Deloitte 2). Researchalso depicts that worker engagement adds a lot of value to businessperformance, thus making digital collaboration a strategy to improvethe engagement (Deloitte 2). Currently, digital tools allowingcollaboration are a relevant manner of drawing the best from thetalent within a workplace. Globalization has enhanced the geographiclocation of most enterprises whereas the economic recession hascompelled teams to reduce employees as a way of reducing expenses.The combination has resulted in the dispersal of skills andexperience past direct communications, at a period when businesseswill require combining their best talents. Digital collaborationimproves productivity by ensuring that the best talent within acompany works together to meet company objectives.

The increase in use of technology at workplaces has made it possiblefor workers to work smart, which facilitates productivity. Forexample, workplaces are now flexible. Provided that employees haveinternet connectivity, they are not restricted by distance and canwork together from any location (Cortada 111). Workers cancommunicate with each other through social media or even electronicemail and exchange important information relating to the work that issupposed to be done. This means that the distance barrier iseliminated, which saves on time that would have been spent traveling.Instead, the time is invested on more work. Another illustration offlexibility arising from the use of digital tools is the ability toaccess and make changes to documents via the use of smart phones.Smart phones employ wifi connectivity that makes it possible forpersonnel to stay in touch despite distance (Cortada 113). Theflexibility makes it probable to ensure that more work is executedduring working hours, which was not possible prior to theintroduction of digital tools in workplaces hence, businesses arecapable of focusing on ensuring growth. As digital tools become morewidespread in places of work, the productivity of personnel will alsoimprove. Likewise, adopting technology that is flexible results inimproved growth and productivity.

The use of digital tools at work is to ensure that workers continueto be connected to each other. Tools like the internet and smartphones make such connections very possible. Workers within anorganization can them work together by using digital tools incompleting assigned tasks. All that is required is the exchange ofinformation from one end to the other. This means that workers do notmove around the office seeking clarification on issues that mayarise, thus wasting no office time (Hartley 1). Connectivity at workalso applies to workers that are separated by geographic distance.For instance, one employee could be in America while the other is inGermany, yet require information from the company in Germany.Supposing there were no digital tools, the American employee would becompelled to travel to Germany seeking information. This wastes timethat would have been spent completing other tasks. Nevertheless,because of digital tools that inform on incoming messages, theresponse to a sent text is always instant. This means that bothworkers exchange the needed information within the shortest timepossible. Information sharing becomes fast, which ensures projectsare also completed fast and workers are more productive.

It cannot be refuted that business productivity traces to a company’scapability to become triumphant in executing a general strategy.Businesses require personnel that are productive as well as engagedin executing work goals, which match the company’s strategic goals.This can be achieved through the incorporation of technology atworkplaces (Hartley 1). Digital tools result in the creation of anopen as well as communicative work surrounding. Through the centrallocation of performance appraisal information in a formal onlinestructure, managers are able to communicate the business strategy atease (Hartley 1). In addition, it makes it possible to createmeasurable objectives for the workers, which will back generalcompany goals. In addition, is allowing more visibility hence,permitting workers to view the entire picture and have a bettercomprehension of how personal objectives align with those of thecompany. This results in the formation of an energized as well asengaged workforce, which increases the business productivity of anorganization.

Digital tools make it possible to connect teams practically withinthe organization. Many technologies connect workers together withinan organization. The technologies are especially effective whenpersonnel are working in teams (Local Government Association 31).This ensures that teams are in constant communication reducing thepossibility for mistakes that may drag the company behind, or requiremore time in rectifying. For instance, the creation of worker portalsas well as team websites to assist individuals works productivelyacross the company, regardless the location. This works by doing awaywith corporate silos, which are effective in cutting offcommunication since workers are able to use technology in reachingout to other team members that are working on the same projects. Italso makes it possible to locate experts online. The experts can beof help in responding to questions all through the company.

It is possible to improve work productivity when managers have thenecessary tools for monitoring how employees execute their work.Digital tools are suited to enable the monitoring of businessproductivity, in addition to workers development on goals. An exampleof such tools is business productivity software (Local GovernmentAssociation 37). The software facilitates the tracking ofprogress at ease by managers through every stage of completing goals.It also makes it possible for the managers to provide instant supportor coaching to ensure performance as well as deadlines is met. Thesedigital tools results in improved productivity as the company isstaffed with personnel that are progressively becoming aware ofadvent skills, and becoming challenged to work hard. This also worksby ensuring that workers are more attentive, encouraged and happy,which will encourage them to do their best.

Performance analysis is an approach that makes it possible to improveproductivity. Once the performance of personnel has been assessed, itbecomes possible to determine the weak areas and come up withapproaches for improving. Current technology avails improvedreporting as well as business evaluation ability to assist companiesin gaining more comprehension of the business performance, the likesof customers and changing trends (Hartley 1). It is also possible formanagers to access performance metrics online, as well as analyticalreports and employ the information in working towards redesigningstrategies. At this age of digital technology, accessing companyinformation of competitors through digital tools like the internet iseasy. Once such information has been accessed, a company is able tocompare what other successful companies are doing and implement thesame strategies in their company.

Counter-argument

There is ample evidence to demonstrate that digital tools have apositive impact on work productivity. However, there are negativeimpacts that have been raised concerning the implementation oftechnology in workplaces. According to Belicove (1), some of thetools, which companies may be employing with the initiative ofenhancing productivity, might be resulting in a contrary effect. In astudy carried out on persons that work in sales, human resource, lawand marketing within American businesses of different sizes, theconclusion was that using digital tools to enhance collaborationseems to cost businesses millions of money in lost working time(Belicove 1). This is because actions like sending or reading emails,messaging or researching through the internet result in workinterruptions. The author further notes that workers are incapable ofworking for more than fifteen minutes without technology disruptions.Computers use at workplaces is specifically a major distractionbecause it makes it possible to access the internet and research oninformation unrelated to work.

In addition, the increase introduction of digital tools atworkplaces is alleged to have resulted in a decline in laborproductivity development (Grovo 2). Labor productivity is whatdrives economic development, and improves living standards, whichmeans that the drop in productivity has a negative impact onmacroeconomics. The same challenge is also apparent within the firmlevel. During the initial years of digital revolution, managers wereable to benefit from new technologies, which were used for specificpurposes and employees still did most of the jobs. However, it iscurrently not possible to gain more productivity from workers due tothe overdependence of digital tools (Grovo 2). The digitalgeneration of employees is too dependent on using technology at workto ease their duties, and not as a way of ensuring they use digitaltools in manners that are more productive.

The increasing use of digital tools has also resulted in therequirement for a digital workforce, which creates a productivitycrisis because of a gap in digital skills. Above 200 millionsgrownups in America forms the digital workforce (Grovo 3).However, just one in every ten can rate their digital skills areproficient yet they are required to employ the tools on a dailybasis. This means that there is no training on how to use these toolsand ensure that workers are productive. Illustrations are apparent inthe widespread employment of Facebook or Twitter for linkingbusinesses with clients, using Google to run and market businessesamong other uses. Although the tools serve crucial functions, theyare incapable of improving productivity due to a workforce that isunaware of their proficient utilization. It is apparent thatorganizations are fast to introduce digital tools, but slow to offereffective training on their use. Since digital skills are importantin ensuring competitive advantage, personnel that lack the skills canonly cause a productivity crisis (Grovo 3). It is one thing tomake digital tools available to workers, and another to ensure thatthe tools are used effectively. Personnel need to learn how to usethe tools to meet company goals, which will eventually result inincreased productivity.

Conclusion

The advancements in digital technology make the use of digital toolsimportant in all aspects of life. Most important is the use ofdigital tools in positively affecting work productivity. Technologyimproves productivity by ensuring more collaboration amid workers,ensures workers work smart, companies meet their personnel personalobjectives, connects teams despite of locations and facilitateperformance analysis. However, digital tools at workplaces have beenlinked to a productivity crisis and distractions that result is timewasting. It is true that workers may spend time on the internet,sending emails among other technological applications, but in mostinstances, the communication is work related. Rarely do personnel usetechnology provided at work for personal reasons hence, theconclusion that the effectiveness of digital tools in improvingproductivity cannot be refuted.

Works Cited

Belicove, Mikal E. Do social tools really hurt employee productivity?Entrepreneur, 31 May 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2015. &lthttp://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219719 &gt

Chapman, Nigel P, and JennyChapman.&nbspDigitalMedia Tools. Chichester,England: John Wiley, 2007.Print.

Cortada, James W.&nbspTheDigital Hand: Volume Iii.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

Deloitte. Digital collaboration delivering innovation,productivity and happiness, (2013): 1-23.

Grovo. How the digital skills gap is killing productivity andwhat you can do about it, (n.d): 1- 16. &lthttp://a1.grovo.com/asset/whitepapers/Grovo-Digital-Skills-Gap-whitepaper.pdf&gt

Hartley, Matt. Can social media make us more productive? FinancialPost, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2015. &lthttp://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/04/can-social-media-make-us- more-productive/?__lsa=0d42-e6e6&gt

Local Government Association. Transforming local publicservices using technology and digital tools and approaches, (Jun.2014): 1-43.

Miller, Paul.&nbspTheDigital Renaissance of Work: Delivering Digital Workplaces Fit forthe Future, 2014.Print.

Purcell, Kristen and Rainie, Lee. Email and the internet are thedominant technological tools in American workplaces. Pew ResearchCenter, 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

Thomas, Robert J., Kass, Alex and Davarzani, Ladan. From lookingdigital to being digital: The impact of technology on the future ofwork. Accenture Institute for High Performance, (2014): 5-40.