Whether or not technology actually improves productivity has always been open to debate. In April this year US business research company Conference Board released a set of figures suggesting that despite our digital revolution of tools and services, economic productivity was not improving. It’s not the first time that a research study has reached this conclusion and yet counter studies, such as the Centre for Economics and Business Research report in 2013, claim the opposite. Technology, it says, has accounted for an 84 percent productivity per hour increase in office workers since the 1970s.
Fast forward six years and we are still getting mixed messages but perhaps the most significant impact is yet to come. As more businesses digitally transformation and change how they and their employees work, we could yet witness a significant productivity shift. Messaging and collaboration tools, such as Slack, Facebook Workplace and Microsoft’s Teams (there are others) are widely touted as essential ingredients in making this happen, and while they are still relatively new, they appear to be growing quickly in popularity.