Technology causes staff to disengage


How employees engage with technology is the biggest cause of disengagement in the workplace, according to Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer at Microsoft.

Speaking in the closing keynote session titled ’The rise of the humans: how to outsmart the digital deluge’ at Employee Benefits Connect on 4 March, Coplin said that how employees use and engage with technology is the biggest problem with how we work today.

According to Coplin, 65% of the UK workforce are disengaged at work, whicih is partly due to the technology employees use on a day-to-day basis.

He said: “When people look for organisations they want to work for they are looking for an employer that does all the benefits, all the nice stuff, but they come with the aspiration of knowing how they want work and the tools they want to use for their work.

“They are now looking for an employer that gives them an iPad to use and being engaged with the technology we use and not the benefits is the biggest problem with how we work today.

“This is no moral judgement but the thought of not being engaged at work terrifies me frankly.”

And with so much technology on offer in the employee benefits market, employers are quicker to react to technological developments. This will only increase overtime, said Coplin. 

“Technology should be a force and should lift humans up to achieve more,” Coplin said. “My problem is how we use technology, it’s a liberating force that controls how we work and constrains how we think.

“But it kills productivity. It is killing engagement in our businesses.

“77% of the UK thinks a productive day in the office is clearing their [email] inbox, how scary is that. When did email become work and the place of work? It is madness.

“Yes, the primary form of communication is email. It is fast, efficient and cheap. But this has made us send too many emails.

“We live in this world where more people have more power in their pockets than at their desks.

“Open plan offices are also toxic to creativity, it kills creativity. We need to figure out a way to change the way we work.”