The pitfalls and triumphs of an always on society

Can a printing strategy decrease the number of hours and knowledge worker puts in and make them more productive?

According to a recent poll by Ipsos Public Affairs, a global polling and market research firm based in New York, knowledge workers are putting in more hours on the job than they did five years ago. The study, which was sponsored by Lexmark International Inc. of Lexington, Ky., contacted individuals who use a computer with office productivity software for work.

The current knowledge worker toils at his or her job an average of five hours a week in addition to the hours they are committed to, which, for most (61 per cent) is a 40-hour week. One in 10 (eight per cent) works an extra 20 hours or more per week, Ipsos found.

That is the bad news. The extra work has led to more productive knowledge workers, Ipsos said. The results showed that these people are much more productive than they were five years ago with nearly two-thirds (66 per cent) saying they are a least somewhat more productive and over a third 37 per cent saying they are a lot more productive.

Respondents of the poll cite that the “always on” technology such as PDAs, cell phones and e-mail that make them reachable 24/7 are more of a benefit than a drawback.The biggest impact of technology in the workplace is connectivity: almost all knowledge workers (85 per cent) say that having constant access to technology means that they are always reachable.

Other Ipsos findings include: 92 per cent of knowledge workers read, send, make or take work-related communications in non-work situations.

About 73 per cent have kept their communications devices on during a weekend and just under half still tune into the office while on vacation.

Lexmark vice-president Tim Fitzpatrick, who helped managed the research program, said the 40-hour work week is “as quaint a notion as the lunch hour.”

He added that technology can help to manage the work time better.

Fitzpatrick advises knowledge workers to work more flexibly. He said that working at home and access to wireless connections may create a better balance for today’s knowledge worker.

Of the technologies that have become essential, Ipsos poll respondents selected the printer No. 1 with 94 per cent. Next on the list was Internet access at 93 per cent followed by e-mail at 92 per cent. Last on the list was PDA at 19 per cent.

Comment: cdnedit@itbusiness.ca

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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