productivity paradox apparently does not show any signs of going away. Some of
the scientists who originally coined the term have just come up with more research. This new research is now linked to AI and shows that the deceleration
of productivity growth has become even worse that it was twenty-five years ago
when the discussion started. The average annual productivity growth in the US was
at 2,8 % in 1995 – 2004 and it dropped to just 1,3 % in 2005 – 2016.
most of the presented explanations are still very much the same as they were in
1993 when the same author published his first famous paper on this subject.
The core of
the paradox twenty-five years ago was “mismeasurement”, which meant that the
productivity actually grows but we somehow do not see it. All right, we are now
in 2018, so you would think twenty-five years were enough to figure out how to
measure that invisible growth? Apparently the numbers are even worse now than
then, so there is no invisible growth. At that time, twenty-five years back, the
second possible explanation was seen in “implementation lags”. Now, as the “mismeasurement”
theory does not hold anymore, this implementation lag becomes “the biggest
contributor to the paradox”.
also does not stand. Twenty-five years should have been enough to start seeing
at least minimal growth even given all the lags, and the only trend we see is
So, I would
have a much simpler explanation for the paradox. If productivity keeps
decelerating during the twenty-five years of IT implementation across all
trades, shall we conclude that it is this exact factor, information technology,
that causes of the deceleration?
two specific examples why and how this happens.
Let us look
at AI and its flagship application, which is customer service through chatbots.
There is analysis of cost per call going down from $35 - $50 on the phone to $8
- $10 in a web chat. Looks good in the first place, but note a very
revealing phrase in the same paragraph about the increased handle time of the
web chat. This is not just the agent’s time; this is also customer’s time. As
it increases, the customer loses more time with the service and cannot dedicate
this time to own business. Among the customers of Hypersoft, we have seen
organizations where employees spend on average 15 or even 30 minutes in
electronic interactions with automated service and support applications. This
is as much as six percent of working time lost. In fact, some vendors of
chatbot software even consult their customers how to increase the average session
length! The balance is obvious: whatever is saved on the call center agent, is
lost by the customer having to spend their expensive time dealing with the bots
and automated response systems.
example is the incredible easiness of pulling people into virtual meetings with
the modern conferencing software. I know one customer where the average count
of meeting participants went from 3 – 5 to 12 – 14 after they made a virtual conferencing
system available to all their employees. How does it help that those 14 persons
did not incur travel expenses, and is it possible to believe that an average
meeting in a large company needs 14 participants? I guess the answer is obvious
many more similar situations, which we encounter daily with our Productivity
Analytics. This is not proof of digital technology being always counterproductive
by its nature. However, this is proof that the technology does generate
substantial loss of time by keeping people busy with it, instead of doing their
work. And it is not just training people how to use it right, it is the very
nature of many modern productivity tools to replace work by “work-related
We plan to
continue this research. There is a lot of discussion going on at business about
“technology adoption”, which is somehow presumed to always be a good thing. But
we need to identify all those cases when implementation of digital technology
results in an increase of the total time that all involved persons need to
produce the same output. We can do this quite well already with Omnicontext,
and we are improving these capabilities every day. Stay tuned, there will be
more insight coming from Hypersoft on this topic.
Laptops, smartphones & Wi-Fi generalization arrived with some new work habits. Work-life balance has been shaken. Work from home, transport, beach … Wherever you can, you want, you have to. During nights, days, holidays, week-ends, … whenever you can, you want, you have to.
Hypersoft, as a major actor of new work trends, has to understand before anyone else how professional behave, work, evolve. This knowledge allowed Hypersoft to produce Personal Analytics, dedicated on these subjects. This precious tool helps people to understand, to control their work, keeping their freedom and flexibility. Why we should have to justify something else than our fulfilled objectives and success? Keep working as you are used to and Personal Analytics will do the rest …
Obviously, to be the first understanding these new work habits, you can use theory or your imagination. Indeed, this is a good starting point. But can Hypersoft ignore practice? Is theory or imagination effective enough to reach solid conclusions? Of course not. As always, a study is valid as long as it is based on theory and practice. That is why, to confirm theory, it has been decided to send me to Florida, to practice remote work. So let's take this plane, Paris-Miami and let's experiment remote work.
Why Personal Facts?
Hypersoft has just released its latest app on Play Store, past week. This new app is entirely dedicated to smart phones time tracking and smart phones usage control. Indeed, don't you have one? Or maybe you have several of them? I am pretty sure that the first object you use each day is your smart phone. Just like me … right? Plus, you may be using intensively some devices for you work, all day long. For these reasons, Hypersoft decided to produce a special app focused on smart phones data.
So, please welcome Personal Facts
Principle remains the same and easy.
Personal facts is easy, fast, precise
Personal Facts makes the difference
Installing Personal Facts on all your smart phones, can you give a single and fast vision on all your devices. This fact is very important as you can measure efficiently your dependency on smart phones.
Personal Facts can send you some notifications if you use too much, from your perspective, your smart phones
Start having control
Facts and numbers
You may want to discover some interesting facts and numbers on Personal Facts site.
Compare your self with our community
As autumn comes fully in its dark reds, yellows and browns, in western countries three holidays come in the middle of it, all about people who passed away, but, as we prefer to believe, did not just vanish but rather changed form of their existence.
Astonishing is the spectrum of emotions which help us deal with this subject, surely a hard bit of life for everyone. Some of us pick what they prefer the most, but many of us are aware of them all.
I would attribute this red colours, sometimes even blood-bright reds to Halloween, coming at the eve of next days. It's more a festivity then a celebration and is the youngest one, I think, despite the ornaments and inspirations drawn from depths of all ages and beliefs. Not everybody appreciate it, saying it's improper for such serious matters to be turned into a grotesque, some even try to edify about familiarizing our youngsters with demons and all that dangerous stuff, but most of us think of it as fun, play and, sometimes scary but still pure joy. Yes, I know some find it hard to believe that horrors can be fun, but believe me, it can! On the other hand, amount of effort that is put into costumes, parades and games this evening show that it cannot be just a trifling play. Fun is something that always allowed us to deal with more difficult matters and play is often a way of getting into major ventures. If you ever watched a dedication of a kid rolling stone equalling his weight across the whole yard, just to build a castle – you will never say that play isn't a serious matter. That is why, as productivity therapist, Neil Fiore advices in his great book The Now Habit – if you find things in your life too hard and overwhelming, get yourself a hobby. Don't say you have no time for that – let it remind you how things you do can be easy, give fun and pleasure. Hard things too. And it also applies for eternal matters.
All Saints' Day is all in different mood, let it be yellow or even gold, the high one, dignified, in full contrast to its eve. It is a Christian holiday, devoted, as its name shows, to all people that were raised to heavens. These are the ones valued and admired. Although these are the chosen ones, we believe everyone is able to become appreciated and respected. There is some prestige gained throughout the years of work in which all efforts are rewarded. We attribute it to parents, mentors, heroes and saints, seeing the best things they have done, but it reveals these are our dreams too. It's not for nothing, what we do all the time, it's worth it, because it makes us in some way greater. It's what we want to become.
As All Saints' Day is coming to its end, the oldest holiday comes, All Souls' Day, as brown as drying leaves and full of candles' lights. Pre-christian and early Christian in origin, it commemorates all people that are not here with us any longer, but still are in our memories; all people that spent time with us and somehow made themselves a part of us. For me it does not require any belief to imagine just this form of existence, but people often pictured them more realistic – souls stepping down to our world for the night between 1st and 2nd of November and leaving at next noon. Even if sometimes afraid of them, people were also caring: preparing food, making fires on graves and crossroads to warm them, but above all, remembering them and wishing them farewell. Just simple everyday things were enough to treat them, as it is with our life which is made of simple things we do and of people we do it with.
Do we need any other motivations? Have fun, have dreams and take care of your life until next autumn!