Hidden impact of digital tech at work


For the 21st Century worker, Smartphones have become a physical extension of their identity. The consequences for business can no longer be ignored.

4 key areas of work life have been affected: Attention, Critical Thinking, Mental Health and Communication and these need to be understood if businesses are to thrive:

Attention: With ever more distraction in the very same place that we’re trying to gain information – i.e. the screen – it’s becoming more and more of a challenge for workers to absorb information and stay committed to the task in hand. Our relationship with the smartphone has also changed the way our brain works, leading to a tendency to skim rather than read. Deep thinking is the casualty of this process.

Critical Thinking: Workers today are “Always on” and live in an algorithmically curated universe that is personalised. Confirmation bias is encouraged, tribes are formed, and critical thought is relegated to a back seat, especially when fast thinking is encouraged. Influenced by our social networks, we favour peer pressure, short cuts, and emotion. This habit is impacting how we solve problems at work, with negative consequences for businesses. But this trend can be reversed.

Mental Health: The mental health statistics for Generation Z and Millennials are sobering. The damage to wellbeing using metrics such as levels of depression, loneliness, anxiety, poor self-esteem and narcissism is growing. Companies urgently need to understand that external factors are affecting your workforce in a negative way. According to a study at Opensourced Workplace. The overuse, and sometimes misuse of social media could affect the overall operation of the company and pose risks to the reputation of both employers and their business.

Communication: Since excellent interpersonal skills facilitate successful interactions, it follows that they also lead to better work outcomes.  As social media has flourished to become one of the most dominant ways people communicate, human communication has suffered.  This is especially the case with young adults in the workplace, since heavy users of technology tend not to practice those essential skills.  The soft skills gaps most likely to trip up young workers include written and oral communications, the ability to engage, to motivate and to display business etiquette and professionalism.

In his talks and workshops, Nick will help delegates in the following ways:

  • By showing how smartphones and social media combine to steal our attention
  • By revealing how the formation of new habits increases the ability to focus
  • By encouraging the use of strategic thinking that is without bias
  • By creating healthy social media habits that free up time
  • By encouraging more offline activity and genuine relationship building
  • By providing a tool kit to protect from the worst excesses of smartphone abuse

If you’d like Nick to come and speak at your business, please get in touch…

Position Papers

These papers will broaden your understanding of how social media is negatively affecting your business

The Distracted Worker

A summary of the content of all the Position Papers…

The Effect of Social Media on Mental Health

Social media has some surprisingly negative effects on emotional wellbeing…

The Effects of Social Media on Attention

Our thinking styles are being reshaped…

The Negative Effect of Social Media on Critical Thinking

Our thinking processes are being degraded…

Interpersonal Communication - Technology vs Face to Face

As technology takes over our lives our ability to communicate in a meaningful way is diminishing.

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