Computers, Productivity, Plato & a Toaster…There is a message here trust me
Plato said “necessity is the mother of all invention” it’s certainly true, we are an inventive lot us humans. However not everything we invent out of necessity is good for productivity.
Take my morning breakfast for example, every morning I place two pieces of bread in the toaster and while its toasting I make coffee, by the time coffees made “ding” the toast pops up. Pretty simple multitasking to best utilise the time I have allowed for breakfast.
Only problem is, the other morning the “ding” of the toaster presented me with one golden brown piece of toast, and one piece of bread…not what I was expecting.
What followed was the necessity to invent a way around my problem…which went like this.
First push the bread back down and see if magically starts toasting, it didn’t, but I persisted with various versions of this strategy for a couple of minutes in hope of a miracle. I even went so far as to pick up and shake the entire toaster, not sure what I thought that was going to do, but remember it was early and I hadn’t had coffee as yet.
By the time I’d fiddled around for 5 minutes I came to the conclusion that hope wasn’t a strategy, so I did what all good inventive humans would do. I shoved the bread in the side that worked and got my toast, albeit about 10 minutes later.
It was a few days before I had an opportunity to get the toaster fixed so in the meantime I was stuck with the new slower routine. What’s my toaster issue got to do with a company’s computer systems?
Simple, like a fully working toaster is needed for my breakfast routine to be efficient, a fully operational computer system is needed to keep a company’s personnel efficient. However because humans use computers, when something doesn’t work as it should, we automatically swing into invention mode and come up with a way to get the job done.
Like my toasting workaround this is great for an immediate fix, however more often than not, those inefficient workarounds become standard operating procedure and that effects productivity.
In a lot of cases management and owners of smaller business fail to draw a correlation between their computer network and their personnel’s efficiency. Why? Because it’s easier and less expensive in their mind to simply ignore the problems under the illusion that as long as the computer switches on and the tasks get done all is well.
The scariest part is, in all likelihood when you ask the question you will find way more than 10 minutes of lost time across your organisation.
So take the challenge, ask your personnel how does your computer perform? Is it as fast as it used to be? How long does it take to start up in the morning? Is there anything you are doing today, that is taking longer that it use too?
Oh, and when you do get the list of issues, don’t keep on swapping the bread from side to side every morning get them fixed and then keep them maintained…