Digitalizing the Workplace

For our next assignment in writing class, we were allowed to choose the chapter we read and respond to. After skimming the options, I decided to focus on the “Work” chapter. Although the “Family” and “Romance” sections looked interesting, I related the most to the issues of technology in the workplace. In all of my past four jobs, I can easily remember dealing with the same complications that Sherry Turkle describes in her experiences. Since I am fairly older than the rest of the class, I would be curious to find out in the parlor discussion if they have experienced similar things in their employment history. Primarily, the significant decrease in face-to-face client and employee interactions and increase in desire to multitask constantly.

In this chapter, Sherry Turkle tells many stories from employees and managers of companies that have problems with the technological advances in the workplace. In some instances, they are concerned with the lack of skill in client interaction between recent graduates. In others, they feel disconnected and unheard with many people either working from home or working on their phones during meetings. The situation that resonated with  me the most was her example on page 260-261 that speaks about Alice Rattan, a manager who had problems with focusing, and decided to compartmentalize her days between online and offline times in order to maximize productivity and minimize temptation. I think this is a fantastic idea, and something I’ve implemented in my school life as well. When I am studying at home or taking notes in class, I consciously make an effort to turn my Wi-Fi off so that I don’t even entertain the distraction of internet browsing or email notifications. It’s amazing that when I do this, I truly don’t even notice that I’ve missed out on anything. When we’re focused on “unitasking,” as Turkle puts it, we are so absorbed in the current activity that we forget about the distractions.

tags (work, technology, multitasking, focus, productivity)

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