Productivity Is on the Decline, But Businesses Shouldn’t Necessarily Be Worried
Increasing productivity while decreasing cost: It’s the age-old conundrum that businesses still face today. There are two different factors that seem to be influencing this relationship, however, and these factors are relatively new to the American workforce: First, businesses are relying more heavily on technology than ever before. And second, the average American business is filled with tech-savvy Millennials who insist on using technology even when it doesn’t seem necessary.
So are these two factors enough to help businesses increase productivity without spending a fortune?
As Bloomberg Business reported in early February, overall productivity of the American workforce has fallen since 2014. “The measure of employee output per hour of work decreased at a 3 percent annualized rate in the final three months of last year,” Bloomberg explained. “Productivity has languished since the end of the last recession as companies remain hesitant to invest in new technologies, relying instead on new hires to meet demand. Rising labor costs that are unaccompanied by increased efficiency represent a downside risk for already shaky corporate profits.”
It certainly is risky to make big investments in the newest cutting-edge technology and it’s risky to hire young workers who might not have all the skills needed right away. But this doesn’t mean that businesses — small businesses in particular — should avoid either one of these risks.
As The Elkhart Truth reported, “For a small business, money spent on creating an online presence is the most important investment the business can make.” Something as simple as creating Facebook and Twitter profiles (and updating these pages frequently) can have a very big impact on how customers interact with a business.
And it’s pretty convenient that Millennials tend to be experts when it comes to social media. In fact, they’re so used to using technology in their daily lives that it’s generally easier for workers of this generation to learn how to use — and improve — technologies that help in the workplace.
When it comes to utilizing technology, the key isn’t necessarily the amount of money a business spends. Instead, it’s about creating a network infrastructure that is secure but also flexible enough to grow with the company.