It is a common assumption that providing employees with the ability to have a workplace connection 100% of the time will lead to greater productivity. However, this topic has become one of debate. Both sides have substantial arguments on why 24/7 work connectivity is a positive or negative aspect of the work environment.
Below we have outlined the pros and cons of 24/7 workplace connectivity, allowing you the opportunity to see how to create a balance that works for you.
- Expanded freedom and flexibility. Constant access to work items has allowed employees the freedom and flexibility they need within their schedule to tend to their work from wherever and whenever their schedule permits. This allows for time that would have been spent on long commutes to then be used on work items instead, or to work around personal life events such as child obligations.
- Getting more work done with a smaller workforce. With the downfall of the economy, workforces were cut drastically leaving remaining employees with a larger workload. Constant access to work items allows a smaller workforce to be efficient at a large workload through the ability to work on projects outside of the office.
- No downtime for employees. A constant connectivity with work can lead to decreased personal time for employees. Having constant access can make employees feel pressured to continuously work instead of taking actual vacation or personal time. This can cause employees to feel burnt out, stressed and overworked, leading to a decrease in productivity.
- Overloading employees results in lack of concentration. A continuous flow of information can begin to overwhelm employees with a constant connection to work. It can also divert employees’ attention away from critical and important issues. Employees will feel as though they will need to give an immediate response, instead of taking the time to make an informed decision.
While constant connection through remote access, laptops and smart phone devices offers major advantages, it is important to remember to balance work and your personal life. This could mean disconnecting at times. Once you find your work-life balance, productivity will most likely increase.