Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Consumer Technology: Office Winner or Woe?

Consumer technologies vamp up the daily lives of many people; from blackberries to iPhones, AOL Instant Messenger to Google chat. These products and applications provide a twist: an expeditious and more productive approach to modern communications.

Certain questions arise in my head: does the self-empowerment that these consumer products give to the average person create a longing to have those same amenities in the workplace and does this longing of technological tools make it acceptable to bring into the workplace?

Josh Holbrook, the author of a new study conducted by the research firm the Yankee Group, tells the Wall Street Journal that, “86% of corporate employees say that they use at least one consumer-oriented tech tool that isn’t supported by the IT department,” even when the, “IT groups at many companies try their hardest to keep these tools out of the office.”

Why are employees giving an unspoken voice to consumer tech products in the workplace? Holbrook believes that consumers are much more innovative than the business world and quite frankly, I agree. According to Holbrook’s study, so do more than half of the participants, stating that, “that they would be more productive at work if they had access to all the technology that they could use at home.”

Playing devil’s advocate now, I understand that the need for security is at an all time high in the 21st century. I applaud valiant efforts by businesses to protect their workers and believe policies and procedures should be upheld.

At the end of the day it is important for both sides to understand one major thing; to need to create and establish a win-win environment- where corporations maintain productivity and employees have access to their personal gadgets. With some creative and knowledgeable heads put together, I am sure a compromise on both ends can lead toward a more productive, efficient, and profitable end.

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