February 23, 2006 4:54 AM PST

Tech makes working harder, not easier

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U.S. workers say they have technology to thank for their decreased productivity and increased workloads.

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15 comments

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Technology is supposed to help, not hinder
Too often it gets in the way. It seems most software is always just "good enough" to get out the door...to meet the (perceived) need...to meet revenue projections...etc, etc, etc. This stuff's really not thought through too well.

That's why mashups seem to be useful. Real people solving real needs without beefing up the "features" in order to charge more.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
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Just crack the whip on these slackers.
Who did they poll? The 3 imbeciles in every office that do things cause it's ALWAYS DONE THAT WAY? Cause they have time to whine, but no time to work.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
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Lost...out-of-touch generation.
The current generation of business leaders, while faced with some of the most complex business problems in history, has failed miserably to learn lessons from their predecessors. Why is it that the science conglomerate fully grasps the adage: "Ask if we should... Not if we could". That breakdown, is the plague of technology in our world today.
We are so fixated on the bells and whistles, the conquest of new territory, the promise of Shangri-la, that we fail to ask the most obvious questions, why, what, who, when and where?

In a world where business and technology have become co-dependant, the most important factor is still people... GN
Posted by gnathanson (5 comments )
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It's people like you!
All of you reading Cnet when you should be working!

I'm on break.

:p
Posted by just_some_guy (231 comments )
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age thing
I'm 25 and those in my "age bracket" seem to get more work done where I work than the older employees but the older employees certainly know procedures a lot better. I think it's just a transition time in the work place.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
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I Discourage Stereotyping
While I have no reason to not believe your description of your situation, Jesus, I would not consider it as an absolute for all businesses. Before retirement I had quite a bit of experience in engineering complex military command and control systems, and the abilities of the engineers with whom I worked were not easily sorted by "age bracket". That is, there were "competent" engineers of all ages who could accomplish the required tasks, and there were truly outstanding engineers of all ages who would easily and consistently out-produce most of their co-workers. As an outside consultant I worked with quite a number of large defense contractors, as well as active military units, and that held true in all of those establishments.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
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Incorrect about productivity
"Expectations that technology would save time and money largely haven't been borne out in the workplace, said Ronald Downey, professor of psychology who specializes in industrial organization at Kansas State University."

The consensus of academic economists is that technology has had a large, positive impact on productivity. Dr. Downey's view is one that was widespread 10-15 years ago and is now largely accepted as having been disproved by more recent data.
Posted by kevinpostlewaite (1 comment )
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Behavior is the key
But, strangely, you don't point to data to support your claim.

I think that psychology, i.e., people's behavior, determines how
productive they are moreso than what tools they use. A person
determined to accomplish a task will do it with pen and paper,
or a computer.

The hit on productivity probably has to do with the many non-
productive uses computers can be put to. A person playing
games on his computer or browsing websites while on the clock
is not going to be productive.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
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doubtful
My sister is in her 4th year of residency at a hospital that is so large they had to have bike messengers inside the building to deliver charts at one point in time. Electronic records are a godsend to the doctors that have been there long enough to remember. Not to mention the fact that she carries an entire physicians reference library in her front pocket.

-and she't the biggest technophobe in the family. (next to dear old Mom)
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
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Get a clue nimrods.
"but those who feel extremely or very productive dropped to 51 percent from 83 percent in 1994"

Morons. What you feel has nothing to do with your productivity. What an idiotic title. This is a prime example of stupid liberal "think".
Posted by ironcatholic (2 comments )
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If stupidity were a crime. . .
You are a prime example of a person unable to think. How people
feel and interact with others is the key to understanding human
beings. Productivity relies on people. Without an understanding of
people, pursuing productivity is futile.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
That's right
How we feel at work should be abolished as a topic for discussion. The sooner we stop caring about the way we feel at work altogether, the sooner we can stop caring about how we feel the rest of the time, and instead focus on the golden orb of Productivity.
Posted by johnnynyquist (3 comments )
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Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Good response. How people feel is probably at the core of most
everything we do.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
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Only part of the story
The big productivity gain isn't in doing more work, its in doing more valuable work. We used to spin our wheels for the bossman, and feel good about it because we had something at the end of the day. Now, we know that we're spinning our wheels, and feel compelled to do more useful things - which is much harder. But the fact is spending half your time tripling the value of the rest of your time is worth it, even if you didn't know what was the best use of your time this morning.
Posted by random dude (2 comments )
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