August 2, 2022

Hyper-Connected Workplaces: A productivity haven or damaging to employee trust?

As technology advances and the world becomes increasingly hyper-connected, changes to the workplace are bound to impact productivity. But is the hyper-connected workplace conducive to an increased productivity rate? Or is it just damaging to employee trust?
What is hyper-connectivity? And what does a hyper-connected workplace look like?
Hyper-connectivity can look different from workplace to workplace. A common misconception is that hyper-connectivity is based solely on technology, but this is untrue. Although technology is an integral part of hyper-connectivity, it also includes things like office space design, project management, design, employee working arrangements, and even leadership. While technology like instant messaging/ software like Zoom, Skype, and Office 365, is important, hyper-connectivity is based on how these things are used in the workplace: what is the culture? How are they deployed?
Why is hyper-connectivity important right now?
The last couple of years has seen major changes to the workplace. Hyper-connectivity has become extremely important to the success of a business- as businesses that have embraced more connected modes of working (such as remote working) have thrived, whereas others have struggled. Utilising technology to increase connection in the workplace has been topical recently, as deploying technology correctly can make all the difference.
Does it work? What are the pros and cons?
A recent survey revealed that 71% of people felt new tools improved their productivity, at the same time 47% were concerned about whether the tools are driving productivity overall. Hyper-connectivity does have some cons, but what are they?
Problems with hyper-connectivity:
Pressure to be available all the time: Hyper-connectivity can create a culture where employees and businesses feel that they need to be available all the time, even at weekends.
It doesn’t work for everyone: Everyone works differently, and with things like workplace design, you may find that some people thrive in an open layout where everyone can communicate easily, whereas others may crave privacy. A well-functioning hyper-connected workspace should be considerate of this and create space/ opportunity for independent working.
Hyper-connectivity can damage trust: Hyper-connectivity may increase productivity, but it can also make employees feel like they are being surveilled. Hyper-connectivity must build trust by enabling distance. When an employer demonstrates that they trust their employees, employees are more likely to invest their trust in the business.
Main benefits:
Hyper-connectivity allows more flexibility at work: by keeping in communication with everyone, it is easier to keep track and enable more flexible working patterns that accommodate everyone.
Increased productivity
Better communication: hyper-connectivity can create better communication between a larger group of people, connecting people across different locations or timezones.
Hyper-connectivity allows for more expansion, and success: increased connection can make it more possible for businesses to expand and connect with more people.

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