Control Office Technology Before It Controls You

Technology is essential to every business. The human-to-technology interface has increased dramatically in the workplace as enhancements in productivity and accessibility of information have been achieved. But at what cost? What society seems to be gaining in terms of knowledge and technological advances, it’s losing on common courtesy and social values.

Android sits in a chairAnd why does it seem that the more technology we incorporate into our jobs to become more productive, the more stressful our lives become, the longer we work and the less we get done? In order to prevent technology from overtaking your life, you need to learn how to develop a new approach to the flood of information you receive every day. You can’t handle it all! Learn how to make choices about the trade-offs and negative consequences of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail and other technology—instead of blindly accepting them.

While technology is often touted as a way to make your work life easier, it can, in fact, cause additional stress.

Consider the following:

  1. African American businessman wrapped in computer cables looking up with exasperation.Using technology increases the pace of everything
  2. Living in a technological society is stressful in and of itself
  3. Using technology will involve trade-offs
  4. Dealing with changes generates stress, and technology constantly changes
  5. Using technology distances the human element in communications
  6. Being connected all the time is possible, but, in reality, you can’t be connected all the time

What can be done about the stress:

  1. Know yourself—be aware of how you feel and your stress signals, and take a break as needed (short breaks are helpful)
  2. Decide on the importance and priority of the flood of information you are receiving from various technical media—not all of it needs “instant” or full attention
  3. Don’t be afraid of changes or driven by technology—you be the driver with what is and is not important equipment and information
  4. Learn as much as you can about the technology you are using and why it works the way it does
  5. Get help with technical questions from colleagues, the Information Technology department where you work or “help” sites on the Internet

What would you do in this scenario?

conceptual caricature of a three business people with wind up cranks in the backs march forward in the same wayEverything is happening at once. Your boss just gave you a new assignment, you have 15 unread e-mails, two people are in your office needing information, your phone is ringing and your voice mail light is blinking furiously. And it’s only 8:30 a.m.

If you find it all to be too much for one person to handle, then it’s time to reconsider the process. The most important point to remember is that the ability to change the process is in your control.

What procedures would you change in the above scenario and how would you go about making the changes?

 

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