Technology helps us be productive on the job, to be sure. Video conferencing, online project management, and other virtual office apps make it easier than ever to bridge geographical divides and get more done during a workday.Still, almost every business transaction boils down to one human being doing something for another; it’s an exchange of goods or services older than money itself. But when technology disrupts the humanity at the heart of a business, it’s no longer helpful — it’s distracting.Tech That Takes Away ProductivityA CareerBuilder survey says four of the top 10 workplace productivity killers are technologies: cellphones and texting, the internet, social media, and email. A similar survey found that 24 percent of employees spend at least one hour of every workday completing personal calls, emails, or texts.Nowhere are these technological distractions more evident than in a meeting. How many times have you paused a conversation while your co-worker checked a text message? And be honest: When a little flag or alert pops up on your screen, you momentarily lose the thread of the meeting’s discussion, don’t you?As soon as a conversation gets derailed, it’s difficult to get back into the flow. Tech should keep that flow going instead of breaking it up. Instead of using tech that encourages those kinds of mental detours, use apps and platforms that keep your head where it needs to be.Does Your Tech Check All the Boxes?The kind of technology your meeting needs allows you to focus, engage, and collaborate with the people you’re meeting with. Look at your meeting technology through the prism of the following four questions. If you answer yes to any of them, then your meeting technology is working properly.
- Can you keep the technology from interrupting you? Notifications have a way of putting your focus in a vice grip. They have the power to take your attention away from the task at hand, but you have the power to turn them off.
- Can you deploy video capabilities to stay on task? Use video to increase human-to-human interactions. CEO Clara Shih of Hearsay Systems encourages leaders to keep remote meeting participants engaged by using video. People are much less likely to multitask when they’re on screen.
- Can your meeting tech confirm action items and decisions? Make sure you and your collaborators don’t forget key points. Eva, Voicera’s in-meeting AI assistant, is a valuable technological asset that can collect action items without pulling attendees’ attention away from the conversation.