By Talya Mizrahi-Yaakov, Marketing Manager
The way we work is changing rapidly. Traditionally work used to be done behind a desk or in the field, but the ability to work anywhere, at any time is a recent phenomenon. With the advent of mobile-first technology, more and more work is done from smartphones, tablets or laptops outside of the office.
And while, these new communications tools have been revolutionizing the way we work, there is unfortunately a downside:
Humans now have a lower attention span than goldfish, according to new research. A recent study conducted by technology giant Microsoft has found that humans now have a lower attention span than goldfish. We stay focused for a mere eight seconds – goldfish can manage nine. Fifteen years ago, the average human attention span was 12 seconds – four seconds more than today. Researchers found that the top four factors affecting our attention are media consumption, social media usage, technology adoption rate and multi-screen behavior, such as watching television while texting.
It might seem that we are able to accomplish more with all of these mobile tools at our disposal, when in fact it may have a detrimental effect on our concentration, and ultimately our productivity.
Work chat apps, or team messaging apps were created to serve the needs of a more mobile workforce, to improve team collaboration and productivity even if all members aren’t in the same physical location, to reduce the email and information overload, to integrate with existing enterprise software tools that businesses and organizations already use and to protect sensitive or confidential business information with data encryption and other advanced security features.
Given the rapid rise of mobile technology, including the implementation of work chat apps, secure texting for businesses and teams, and other messaging and communication tools and protocols, how can we use mobile technology to our advantage, while overcoming the distractions they present?
- Depending on your job, determine what hours are optimal for tasks that require deeper or creative thinking. During those optimal hours, put your phone on silent or shut off your phone, log out of your email account, etc.
- Get into your zone by listening to your favorite playlist, nature sounds or whatever else floats your boat. Block everything else out.
- Your chat app settings aren’t fixed – enable notifications when you are available, disable them when you aren’t.
- Determine which type of communications tool fits the task. Do you need an immediate answer? Might be best to send a text message. Can it wait? Send an email. Are you at your desk, or out in the field? Don’t fall into the trap of using the same communications tool, even when it might not fitting for the task at hand.
- Work in chunks of 45-50 minutes, with 3-5 minutes in between for responding to text messages and emails.
As mobile technology becomes more widespread in the workplace, we’ll have to learn how to use these tools correctly in order to maximize our productivity, and not the other way around. What do you think? Do you find yourself more or less distracted with mobile technology, including chat apps, messenger platforms, social media, etc?