Why On-Demand Technologies Are Excellent for Productivity

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 1:44 AM

Impressively, initial jobless claims are the lowest they've been in more than forty years. What hasn't followed suit is productivity. As has been the case since the start of the recession, U.

The latest Work Dept numbers are in, and they confirm the health of the work market. Impressively, initial jobless claims are the lowest they've been in more than forty years. What hasn't followed suit is productivity. As has been the case since the start of the recession, U. S. worker productivity continues to stall. That trend has been mystifying economists and other watchers of work over the past few years. Productivity increased dramatically as IT transformed the workplace from roughly one thousand nine hundred ninety to two thousand five, but since the beginning of the recession in two thousand-seventh, productivity growth appears to have returned to the levels of the one thousand nine hundred seventy and 1980s.

With continued internet-enabled technological innovations enhancing the way we live, work and play today, why isn't worker productivity continuing to advance at prior rates?

Some have suggested that the productivity gains from information technology are an anomaly, and prior rates of 1-1.5 percent are more the norm. Or it could be that while we've benefited from wide gains in information technology and readily available (i. e. personal computer) processing capacity, we've not yet fully enjoyed productivity gains from mobile technology. This is particularly true when we consider the realm of human resources and staffing, and the application of mobile technology in the distributed workplace.

Utilize of desktop technology has significantly enhanced productivity of information workers over the past thirty years. But smartphones have only been around for five years, and undertaking mobile-first applications are still their infancy. Kevin Spain at Emergence Capital has pointed out that non-desk workers represent about eighty percent of the global workforce, out of over three billion people in the global workplace. And even in developed economies, smartphone adoption has only recently surpassed sixty percent of the total population. In terms of mobile applications for improving workplace productivity, we're just getting started.

Companies--some of whom are threatened by new on-demand technology--are looking at how they can utilize mobile applications not only for communication and information dissemination, but also to make better productivity by changing the way they manage distributed teams.

What does this see love in the genuine world? It means that consulting or market research firms broadcast complex tasks to mobile-enabled teams (crowdsourced or their own teams) when they necessity to quickly collect field data and intelligence. One client who did this shaved sixty percent off costs relative to their previous method of data gathering, and got the work done thirty-five percent faster. It means that companies with available work are able to immediately send or create this work visible to available prospective employees with the right qualifications, in the right location. It means that consumer brands, retailers and hotels that wish information on local delivery of products and services can't only capture this information, but can also trigger execution/fix cycles where they identify problems.

Large organizations utilize "on-demand" technology for their business in different ways, but they recognize that the same technology pioneered by on-demand economy businesses can also significantly make better the productivity of their teams.

In terms of the future of American productivity, I stand with the optimists. We're on a steep learning curve as our skill to keep new technologies to everyday use--and our willingness to invest in the infrastructure they require-- catches up with our inventiveness. But I'm more convinced than ever that, by embracing technologies of the on-demand economy, both workers and companies will win. Mobile and online technologies simply proposal too much productivity upside to ignore.

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