Email crazy? With 132 billion each day by 2017 has technology really swallowed us up?
In this artcile by this australian media group which has banned internal emailing. Now that maybe a rather extreme reaction to an everyday problem but it makes us ask.. has technology swallowed us up? Can we tame the dragon?
Of course it's the quickest way often to SEND information via a message or a document, but the question becomes, does our message get understood? Have we become complacent to the ease in which it is to press the button and simply not pay attention to the issues it creates. An abdication of responsibility because that's the way the technology is....
The fax and post man killer, means large documents are quickly and cheaply distributed, but at what expense? How are we to read and respond to such a tidal wave of information with the accuracy and time scales everyone expects? It's a constant battle which many are loosing, badly.
I love what technology can do for us so I'm a major advocate, but we have to 'learn' the rules and etiquette of using it, otherwise like a child and a nuclear reactor, you wouldn't want them to play with the controls without supervision.
The psychological damage of always being 'available' with the expectation of an instant response is literally stressing people to the brink of destruction. Our connected society is simply one online experience to another, both at work and at home.
From our day job to our social lives are now dominated by the internet of everything and we are simply 'dead' without wifi or an internet connection. It's become an addiction, feeding our sense of self worth and our dependence on it has quite literally got 'out of control'.
What we can do with technology is ever more surprising, but considering the promise of better efficiency and productivity, simply the standards of expectation has gone up, therefore we have created a newer, tougher benchmark, we are chasing a constantly shifting target of giving more highly anticipated value.
We aren't getting more done because we simply have added too much complexity to everything to in fact slow things down and increase control mechanisms to deal with the speed and complexity.
A lack of IT and HR controls (and the RIGHT training) means we are not keeping up to date with the psychological demands of our technological tools.
Virtual teams, remote working, open plan offices has brought many new working style challenges not everyone has been equipped to handle it and a whole new set of processes both in operating practices and in engagement terms with the organisation MUST BE CREATED.
To get great performance and consistent results in an engaging environment (and to improve productivity) a major overhaul of how we do business is required. Old habits die hard, old working practices die even harder. Evolution or revolution (as the article above states) needs to happen or the future will be a more painful one.
Technology, love it hate it, blessing or curse, is here to stay. However, our HR policies, training and support structures need to get better to give people the right psychological approach, skill sets and technical knowledge to 'tame the dragon' that is our new reality.
It's do or die time.
JOHN | THINKING HR