Survey: Tech has FREED modern workers – to work longer hours

Internet, email make you more productive, more of the time

Americans think technology has made them more productive at work, but it also has many of them working longer hours, according to a new report.

The study, which was conducted by the nonprofit Pew Research Center using data gathered from 535 people in September 2014, reveals that 46 per cent of US workers believe that the internet, email, and mobile phones have upped their productivity, while only 7 per cent think their productivity has gone down.

Many modern workers also think technology has changed the way that they work, with 39 per cent reporting that they now have more flexible working hours as a result.

Curiously, however, almost the same number – 35 per cent of those surveyed – reported that the very same technologies have increased the number of hours they work each day.

What's abundantly clear, though, is that there's no going back. A separate Pew Study using data collected in 2013 showed that 94 per cent of US jobholders are internet users. And in the current survey, 54 per cent of respondents said the internet was "very important" to doing their jobs.

In another head-scratcher of a twist, however, 61 per cent of those surveyed said email was "very important" – more than gave that distinction to the internet itself.

"What is potentially surprising is that even in the face of constantly evolving forms of digital communication, potential threats like phishing, hacking and spam, and dire warnings about lost productivity and email overuse, email continues to be the main digital artery that workers believe is important to their jobs," the report's authors opine.

Perhaps more important, online tools like email and the web are now considered more important to American workers than the ordinary phone call. Just 35 per cent of respondents said a landline phone was very important to doing their jobs, and just 24 per cent said they couldn't do without a mobile phone.

"For most office workers now, life on the job means life online," the survey proclaims.

Incidentally, however, only 4 per cent of survey participants said social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter were essential to their jobs. Just how much time said survey participants spend on such networks each day, on the other hand, was not a topic of the survey. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • NASA installs a new and improved algorithm to better track near-Earth asteroids

    Nearly 20 year-old software used to protect humanity gets an upgrade

    NASA has upgraded its near-Earth asteroid monitoring algorithm to model hazardous space rocks more accurately after nearly two decades, it announced on Tuesday.

    The new system, dubbed Sentry-II, is more powerful than its predecessor, Sentry. Astronomers working at the space agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies can now automatically calculate thermal influences that nudge an asteroid’s orbit, potentially sending it hurtling towards our home planet.

    The so-called Yarkovsky effect describes the subtle and gradual change of motion when asteroids are heated by the Sun’s light. When asteroids spin, one side of its surface exposed to the star gets heated. As it continues to rotate, the hot region enters shade and cools down. Infrared energy is radiated outwards; the photons carry momentum and impart a tiny thrust on the asteroid. Over long periods of time, these small kicks can change their paths and knock them out of their original orbit.

    Continue reading
  • Facebook slapped with an eyepopping $150B lawsuit for spreading hate speech against Rohingya refugees

    Lawsuit claims social media giant's algos helped Myanmar military crackdown on the Rohingya

    Meta was sued on Tuesday for a whopping $150 billion in a class-action lawsuit for allegedly amplifying hate speech and aiding the Myanmar military in the genocide of the Rohingya people.

    The case, led by an anonymous Rohingya refugee living in the US, accuses the entity formerly known as Facebook of inciting hatred and inflicting real harm on the predominantly Muslim group for years. Not only did the social media platform ignore hate speech posts, it's alleged that the service's algorithms actively promoted anti-Rohingya propaganda as hundreds of thousands of people fled from Myanmar to escape persecution.

    Facebook has already acknowledged its role in the campaign, which saw an estimated 25,000 people perish and 700,000 forced from the country. The lawsuit also comes after ex-employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents demonstrating how its algorithms prioritized engagement over safety.

    Continue reading
  • Power management IC shortage holding cars, laptops, hostage

    Couple of cents-worth of kit causing big problems for the year to come

    The shortage of power management chips is worsening and holding back companies from building cars, PCs and items with batteries or an on-off switch, Trendforce said in a study this week.

    Power management ICs cost just a few cents, and are among cheap chips that include display driver and USB-C components that are in short supply. These chips are as important to PCs and other electronics as CPUs or memory.

    The demand for PMICs has gone through the roof with the emergence of electric cars and growing demand for PCs and consumer electronics during the past 20 plus months. Trendforce expects the prices will go up by 10 per cent to a six-year high of $0.23.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021