Monday, May 6, 2013

Productive or time wasting - When can we stop asking this question?

This image has been floating around Facebook for a few weeks now and it really struck a chord with me. The image made me ask myself a few questions such as; has social media really changed how I work; do I work better or are these pure distractions from the task at hand?

I may be showing my age, but I started into the work force just as email was catching on and I remember asking a few of my co-workers whether or not I should even add my email address to my business card. Now I can’t imagine how I would do my job without email. 

The average person spends 13 hours per week processing email, but some weeks I feel as though email is all I do.  Of course nowadays email is just a small part of the various channels of communication that I work with day to day. My day use to start and end in email but these days I typically start my day in Twitter, move back and forth from email to our own social collaboration tool, a few minutes on Facebook, possibly a quick peek into LinkedIn and then back to Twitter - and of course this is often done from a mix of my mobile and laptop. Has this new way of working across the “omni channel” made me more productive? I think the answer is yes! I am more connected, have a more transparent view of my organization and a wealth of experts at my fingertips. 

These new channels are not here to disrupt my style of work or displace my email. This is just the evolution of work as we know it. The importance is learning how to adopt these tools effectively and educating the workforce on their importance in a way that showcases meaning and purpose in their use.

As Jacob Morgan writes in a recent post.
“….the notion of working 9-5 from an office is being replaced by the idea of being able to “connect to work;” an employee feeling like a cog is being replaced by the voice of the engaged employee; email and intranets are being replaced by networked and connected systems; yearly reviews are being replaced by real-time feedback; working in silos is being replaced by cross-boundary collaboration, and the traditional idea of what it means to be an organization is being replaced by evolving to a collaborative organization.”

I see this as progress, don't you?

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