Statistics…you can prove everything with them!
I read a study recently on how Twitter users are more creative during work hours, because they can connect (freely). Today I see an article in a job magazine (jobat – in Dutch) claiming a Facebook in the office costs 7560 EUR ($ 10375)/employe….because of down time when the employee is’n working but distracted by Facebook (f.i.)! And then I get a little bit angry….because this (research) article just keeps on thinking in a non connected labour market…so 80-ies!
First up, what’s the problem according to this study: I can’t get my work done! How Collaboration & Social Tools Drain Productivity.
The research states that working together and social media distract us from doing are job. We’re only capable of concentrating 15min….and then we need distraction! What psychologists call ‘online compulsive disorder’ apparently….
So do we see any solutions or recommendations in this research on how to deal with this….I did’nt find any….
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.
Yes we are more distracted then we used to be,
Yes we have an information overload,
Yes we have a problem not feeling connected…
We’re in a connected networking society, and it’s not going to get better once our digital natives are entering the work scene! They’re all about connection and social networks….they live through it!
In my opinion this means we need to change our working paradigm: “Work doesn’t happen at work anymore”
You live your work. This means we cannot think in way to organize work around a central workplace (and even worse between 9 and 5). In the 21st century you get the job done every where, when and how thanks to our connected society…Do we need to work 24/7? Hell, no but we are capable of organising certain tasks/work ourselves (at this office, at home, in the car, in a bar, ….) This is possible thanks to an online collaboration where people share ideas, work, solutions online and help each other.
F.i. if I have a problem, I’m better off in a connected world then in my office (where I might connect to my co-workers). In this connected world i can reach out to a couple of thousand people who can help me find a solution. Am I distracted? Yes probably I will….updating my profile, looking at what other profiles or news….but do I get the job done? Yes….if you don’t tie me to my desk at work!
Off course for young people, digital natives this is natural, for baby boomers and generation X this is not natural. They have fought for private time and working time, they didn’t grow up connected, …. this is one big frightening idea of being online 24/7 collaborating and sharing ideas…
But take my advice: youngsters who are consumers and employees of tomorrow are connected 24/7 and collaboration is there middle name. If we aren’t ready for them, this is going to be one big clash!
Next us is mobile….and this is even worse than digital connection….this is 24/7 connection in your hand!
We need to train our workers and employees to keep track of these new evolutions!
Is your company ready?
[I would like to add that we cannot organise all work to be done this way, but a lot can and needs to be rethought into an online collaborative way.]