As much as we love our smartphones, tablets and laptops, we also love to blame them for constantly interrupting our already-busy lives. Those urgent emails that need a reply. ‘Quick’ text messages that grow into long conversations. Status updates and app notifications that demand our immediate attention, and so on.
It’s becoming harder to prevent these devices from disrupting our time at work. As a result, the working day is an increasingly fragmented, stop-start experience. All this communications noise makes it hard to stay ‘in the flow’ and get real work done. With our progress held back, frustration and dissatisfaction levels are high.
It turns out that the more we’re used to being interrupted, the more time we spend expecting to be interrupted, until we end up waiting for the next interruption. And it’s time that’s being wasted in a distracted and unproductive state – sometimes labelled as "busy doing nothing".
Time to change the game
It’s time to turn technology around so that it augments and helps us, rather than having it sap our precious time at work. While there are also behavioural habits to consider, it’s clear that if your HR technology is not helping protect time spent ‘in the flow’ at work and increasing productivity, then it needs to be used differently. Or perhaps you need different technology altogether.
Only a wider, more open platform like People First can address the big picture – drawing on developments such as artificial intelligence and flow tools to support a new contract of alliance between employers and employees.
Employers can use the platform to actively protect their employees from the constant stream of work-based communications coming at them from multiple applications. At the same time, workers have a simpler way to exercise greater control over the noise for themselves. They’re finally free to apply their whole selves – and their best selves – to their work, and stay in the flow for longer.
In addition to taking care of the people side of the business as a traditional HR system would, People First technology helps all employees to protect their time at work in the flow and increase their productivity.
One great example of this new generation of artificial intelligence at work comes in the form of an individual personal assistant for each employee – a feature of People First that helps everyone to manage their time more effectively.
People First knows when you can be interrupted, when you want a daily feed, reminder or briefing. As the personal bodyguard of your focus time, it also knows who has a direct route to you, regardless of your ‘focus mode’ status. And it learns.
Your PA knows when you work best and can find a ‘focus’ time slot in your diary for those moments of concentration you need to get the best from your work time – and it will switch your focus mode on to protect this time, all without needing to be told.
But this is just the start of how People First supports the people within an organisation, giving them the space to get more done, to apply themselves and to really enjoy the time they spend at work. It’s time to put technology to work, at work.