Do you remember the days where you didn’t have the the Internet? Remember going to the library to research information, or using a phone book to find contact information for an important contact? These are only a few ways that the Internet has changed society.Consider, for a moment, these three ways that the Internet has changed our lives. Be sure to ask yourself (and be honest) if you truly think that we’re better off.
One of the biggest advantages of the Internet is that people can be productive from anywhere they have access to it. This includes places that may have once been inaccessible, or even inhospitable: beaches while on vacation, hotels while away on business, or even the car. If you’re looking at the Internet from a purely business standpoint, the Internet is great. Your employees can be as productive as they want, whenever they want. They can always be connected to the office.
However, is it wise for this mindset of ubiquity to be so predominant in the business world? What about the human experience? When you can’t go a few minutes without receiving a phone call, email, or text message on your smartphone, you can’t help but feel a longing for simpler times.
… Yet Productivity Decreases
The Internet is a great tool that provides many opportunities to get work done, but it’s notorious for being a massive distraction for workers. With the advent of online distractions like memes, you might find your workers would rather have a good laugh than do their jobs properly. For example, at the end of your work day, how many tabs does your browser window have open? The average office worker’s screen is often full of relevant (or irrelevant) news articles, YouTube videos, instant messaging conversations, social media, and so much more.
The main problem is that small distractions from the Internet become a major issue for productivity. It’s been proven that it can take anywhere from five minutes to fifteen minutes for a worker to refocus on a single task when they’ve been distracted by something, whether it be a meme on the Internet or an IM from a coworker. All of these distractions eventually lead to getting less work done.
Instantaneous Access to Information
Thanks to the Internet, the world’s information and media coverage is at your fingertips. This is a great step forward, but what are the real benefits of this? Perhaps all of this information isn’t good for our brains, and it’s making us too lazy to work hard for our information. Here are two sobering statistics from List25:
50 percent of Internet users quit waiting for a video to load after 10 seconds.
The average shot length in an English-language film has decreased from 12 seconds in 1930 to only about 2 seconds in 2015.
Even if the Internet is capable of satisfying our constant thirst for something to do, it’s making patience a rare trait to find. We don’t think that it’s out of bounds to say that this is a bad thing.
Now that you understand the scope of these issues, how big of a problem are they in your office? Is your staff being productive, or are they too distracted to get good work done? Is their work cutting into leisure time? Would your team rather perform a Google search for the answer to a question than ask their direct supervisor about it? These are all questions that you should be asking. If you contact Setton Consulting, we can help you mitigate online distractions and keep the Internet a productive place for your team.
What are your thoughts about the increased use of the Internet in today’s society. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.