Economists have been baffled recently by “productivity paradox”. The digital revolution of the past forty years has not resulted in a massive return in output per worker as happened with earlier major changes in technology. Many advanced economies have actually noticed productivity stagnate or slump.
The survey by Microsoft Corporation is supporting one theory about this disconnect. Among 20,000 European workers, Microsoft, one of the most profitable companies in the world by marketing office productivity software, supports the claim that digital technology, in some circumstances, makes business less productive.
Microsoft joins a developing number of prominent Silicon Valley companies and entrepreneurs which offsetting to question the social advantages of the technology they once championed. Facebook Inc. made aware in December that its social network may cause a psychological loss in some cases.
Microsoft finds a number of reasons for this negative effect, includes employees who are too distracted by a constant flow of e-mails, slack messages, receiving Trello notifications, texts and Tweets, not to mention viral cat videos — to focus for continuous periods; untrained employees aren’t using the new technology efficiently; technology that is not adequately supported by the business, causing workers to waste time due to “the computers are down”, and employees who suffer exhaustion because, with mobile devices and working at home, they feel tethered to the job.
Certainly, Microsoft isn’t stating that digital technology weakens productivity in every case. Alternatively, it says digital technology’s impact is significantly based on the business culture.
Hence, those with strong digital culture viewed productivity gains from technology whereas those with weak digital culture didn’t.
Microsoft described companies with strong digital cultures as those where workers are well-trained in the new technology, approach to information, managers who promoted the use of new technology and where executives conveyed to workers a clear sense of how the digital technology fits into the company’s strategic vision.