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The Relationship Between Internet Connectivity and Productivity in The Workplace

The Relationship Between Internet Connectivity and Productivity in The Workplace

Over many decades the Internet has completely transformed how people live in different ways ranging from how people communicate through how they socialize to the way individuals work. Organizations have no exception to this internet premise, rather coping with the growing technology era. Internet services are frequently regarded as general-purpose because they benefit all participants in the economy and result in productivity in the business and individual gains (Basu & Fernald, 2007). Services provided by the Internet are a general purpose for a variety of reasons. Internet infrastructure enables organizations to reach a wider geographical area, thereby granting access to large markets. Internet connectivity allows organizations to acquire inputs efficiently and devote less time to communication while reducing the cost associated with the information collected from business parties (Clarke et al. 2015). Internet connectivity also plays an integral part in improving operations, improving market share, and creating a competitive advantage. In particular, the revolutionization of internet connectivity at the workplace has changed how employees work and how organizations conduct their operations and practices daily. There have also been debates that internet connectivity, when misused in the workplace, results in decreased productivity. Such concerns have led to frequent research on the effect of the Internet on a firm’s workplace productivity. This paper aims to discuss the relationship between internet connectivity and productivity in the workplace. It also includes the positive effects of the Internet and the negative effects when misused by employees for non-related purposes during work hours.

Relationship between internet connectivity and Productivity

Internet connectivity has a variety of additional features that can be used to improve productivity at the workplace. For example, finding information via the Internet becomes easy and efficient, and it is easier to transfer all types of information via electronic form (Hannula & Lonnqvist, 2002). Through the Internet, there is no time limit for doing business. Nowadays, globalization has led to increased competition, and businesses need ways to create a sustainable advantage. One way includes having a website consisting of details relating to organization products and services, customer reviews, promotions, and other business practices (Gosavi, 2017). Internet connectivity has boosted business operations in many dimensions. One popular example of a business that has incorporated the Internet as a means of productivity is Amazon, a giant e-commerce company. The company keeps a list of its customers, their needs, expectations, and preferences. It also maintains its customers in a loop on new promotions, new products, and features relating to products and services. This particular fundamental aspect has not only resulted in customer satisfaction but also improved productivity.

Employees are major players in the organization’s productivity. Having strong internet connectivity provides employees with a framework to access customer product reviews, evaluate their expectations, and report back to the management. For example, tech companies like Apple are using internet connectivity to connect potential customers with the company. This creates effective and efficient operations in the workplace. Amazon.com utilizes Big Data analytics in the workplace to know customers better than its competitors. Once Amazon knows what customer wants, they persuade them to purchase via the Internet. This typically means that internet connectivity in the workplace has a direct relation to productivity.

Workplace productivity is a critical aspect that can strengthen, sustain, and enhance the overall organization’s performance. Factors like absenteeism at work can negatively impact workplace productivity (Mohammad et al., 2019). However, even if employees are all present at the workplace, they can still have decreased productivity. Productivity can be defined as what we produce and how much is produced under available resources (Mohammad et al., 2019). If an individual or an organization produces better products using the same resources, it leads to better productivity. Workplace productivity is also defined as the maximum time utilized by workers to execute and produce preferred outcomes. According to Mohammad et al. 2019, the Job demand resource model (JD-R) tries to explain the necessity of resources required by employees to meet overall productivity. JD-R approach assumes that workers’ well-being is due to established positive resources and negative job characteristics. This model includes all job resources and demands, for example, the Internet as a major resource. Therefore, reinforcing resources like the Internet at all levels allows employees to feel supported and hence satisfied.

In a competitive environment, adequate productivity is achieved by having enough resources in the workplace. One essential resource is internet connectivity which can be integrated and incorporated into an organization’s operational stages.

How organizations use Internet connectivity to increase productivity at the Workplace

Innovation – information technology drives or boosts innovative practices, and innovation provides a framework for the success of a business. Nowadays, every business benefits from the digital revolution and even agricultural sectors use computers; farmers are using computers to keep their agricultural records, technical research matters, and conduct financial planning. Large companies such as Loyal Dutch use the Internet to develop new business ideas. For example, the discovery of Light Touch led to the realization of 30 million barrels (Hannula & Lonnqvist, 2002). In modern business, the formula for success is to embrace innovation with information technology in the workplace.

Collaboration – the increasing promise of the Internet is collaboratively driving businesses. Access to internet connectivity transforms everyone across the globe. In this era of limited resources, a business must adopt a collaborative approach through internet connectivity while respecting others’ responsibilities and roles. Employee and customer collaboration through the Internet promote efficiency and workplace productivity, ultimately, organization growth. The Internet organization, like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), believes that collaboration enhances growth, the sharing of resources, and innovation. Another classic example, Ocean Spray’s extranet, evaluates Cranberry’s quality and helps growers achieve better prices. Ocean Spray reduces waste, and increases productivity while growers are achieving higher profits.

Purchasing – larger companies such as Ford and Amazon are using the Internet as a means of ordering raw materials. For example, Ford’s AutoXchange creates a wide range of online trading bazaars for its suppliers. Ford’s AutoXchange vision aimed at using the Internet to overcome competition while saving costs. This shows how the Internet can be incorporated into the workplace and result in more production.

Marketing – Integration of the Internet at the workplace aids in new Internet marketing strategies that improve a firm’s productivity. The modern use of the Internet has proven new consumer target methods, positioning, focusing on benefits, and promotion strategies on a well-managed website. Since internet connectivity is a world medium, organizations utilizing it are always potentially addressing global customers. Companies like Amazon and Alibaba are highly using internet marketing to communicate important issues to customers. Thus, selling more products and increasing productivity.

Service – internet connectivity is nowadays used as a form of service delivery among employees and customers. For example, the GE Power System allows its customers to access Net to evaluate and compare its turbines’ performance with other GE turbines. This strategy was expected to increase the annual productivity by 1% to 2% on a yearly basis.

Design – internet connectivity is used in organizations to improve design during the production process. For instance, Honeywell applies Net in the workplace to promote a fashioned customized prototype of anything relating from a fan blade to the golf club’s head. This reduces time spent at the workplace, thus improving productivity.

Internet information should be taken as a continuous process, but not as a time process because it requires organization efforts to reinvent how the internet work at the workplace. Furthermore, information technology is a tool that organizations should use to build better relationships between partners while achieving growth. In doing so, internet connectivity affects the productivity ratio through the input and output components (Hannula & Lonnqvist, 2002). Traditionally, the Internet has been justified to promote efficiency in operations and reduces costs due to increased speed. However, some recent research indicates that businesses are still experiencing challenges in adopting the Internet at the workplace. Research on the adoption of the Internet at work in Malaysia shows that the owners of small and medium enterprises have relatively low skills, and the Internet rate in such enterprises is delayed (Gosavi, 2017). Another study by Grimes et al. (2012) on the effect of the Internet and productivity in New Zealand, the study implied that Internet connectivity at work enhances production in a business. In early 2000, most small and medium-sized businesses were slow to adopt the Internet at the workplace, thus receiving low production compared to larger businesses that adopted the Internet (Gosavi, 2017). However, as digital technology is rapidly growing and transforming everything as time passes, all businesses have started incorporating the Internet at work, ensuring Internet service is necessary rather than a choice.

Despite the benefits of the Internet in workplace productivity, it is argued that labour productivity can decrease, especially when staff misuses the Internet by finding activities that are not job-related (Sharma et al., 2016). According to Sharma et al. (2016) study, most people in the workplace are Internet-dependent by doing things such as chatting and gaming. Individuals, such as those non-dependent on the Internet, use it more exclusively for browsing information and sending emails. In recent decades, the idea of internet addiction has been expanded to include negative effects such as decreased productivity in the workplace. Using the Internet at the workplace varies from goal-driven nonwork-related to aimless surfing-related use of the Internet (Sharma et al., 2016).  For instance, an employee may spend approximately 1 hour during regular work on non-related work activities. The prevalent use of internet devices has been ubiquitous in most organizations. However, it has been reported that the application of the Internet at the workplace facilitates job satisfaction and enhances self-esteem among users (Kim & Chung, 2014). Researchers have found that using the Internet allows workers to enjoy the comfort of performing their tasks and aid workers’ job satisfaction. However, this over-dependence on the Internet for non-related work activities results in reduced annual productivity.

One survey carried out in 2016 shows that 58.8% relied on using the Internet to access WhatsApp massager, 32.6% used the Internet on Facebook, and 45.3% used the Internet to access Gmail. Essentially, when employees rely on the Internet for their personal use, there is a likelihood of productivity loss. Another study investigated the employee relationship using the Internet for personal purposes during work hours and self-evaluation performance. The research implied frequent use of the Internet at work for personal use negatively impacts self-performance (Andreassen et al. 2014). If employee self-performance at work is negatively affected, overall productivity will be affected negatively

Conclusion

Nowadays, the use of the Internet at the workplace is no longer an option for organizations. If the major rivals are adopting an information technology strategy or the Internet, the organization should have no choice but to use it. As examples are provided by different companies, at the managerial level, the Internet is essential for many purposes rather than just affecting productivity, such as improving customer satisfaction through service delivery. However, if the Internet is well used in the workplace and well implemented, it leads to operations efficiency. The organization now uses the Internet in areas such as marketing, innovation, purchasing, collaboration, and design, among others. Several successful types of research have proven a significant relationship between the Internet and productivity by citing the Internet’s benefits.

For organizations like Amazon, the Internet is a key component to monitoring its customers in the target market. The company has achieved a strategic position in the market due to its innovative internet strategy. Now and then, the company is a leader in the e-commerce industry. Other research focuses on the negative relationship between the Internet and productivity. Employees are using the Internet for their personal purposes rather than workplace goals. This has a huge impact on their performance, hence lowering productivity. The use of new technology like the Internet should be seen as an enabler that can be adopted to boost operational processes, create new business models that give rise to productivity, and sustain competitive advantage.

References

Andreassen, C. S., Torsheim, T., & Pallesen, S. (2014). Use of online social network sites for personal purposes at work: does it impair self-reported performance? Comprehensive Psychology, 3, 01-21.

Basu, S., & Fernald, J. (2007). Information and communications technology as a general‐purpose technology: Evidence from US industry data. German Economic Review, 8(2), 146-173.

Clarke, G. R., Qiang, C. Z., & Xu, L. C. (2015). The Internet as a general-purpose technology: Firm-level evidence from around the world. The World Bank.

Gosavi, A. (2017). Use of the Internet and its impact on productivity and sales growth in female-owned firms: Evidence from India. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 13(2), 155-178.

Grimes, A., Ren, C., & Stevens, P. (2012). The need for speed: impacts of internet connectivity on firm productivity. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 37(2), 187-201.

Hannula, M., & Lonnqvist, A. (2002). How the Internet affects productivity. International Business & Economics Research Journal (IBER), 1(2).

Kim, H., & Chung, Y. W. (2014). The use of social networking services and their relationship with the big five personality model and job satisfaction in Korea. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(10), 658-663.

Mohammad, J., Quoquab, F., Halimah, S., & Thurasamy, R. (2019). Workplace Internet leisure and employees’ productivity. Internet Research.

Restubog, S. L. D., Garcia, P. R. J. M., Toledano, L. S., Amarnani, R. K., Tolentino, L. R., & Tang, R. L. (2011). Yielding to (cyber)-temptation: Exploring the buffering role of self-control in the relationship between organizational justice and cyberloafing behaviour in the workplace. Journal of Research in Personality, 45(2), 247-251.

Sharma, M., Shrivastava, A., & Marimuthu, P. (2016). Internet use at workplaces and its effects on working style in Indian context: An exploration. Indian Journal Of Occupational And Environmental Medicine, 20(2), 88. https://doi.org/10.4103/0019-5278.197531

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Question 


g. 76 in your book:
Balancing the focus between productivity and relationships:
You are a top-level nursing administrator in a large, urban medical centre in California. As in many acute care hospitals, your annual turnover rate is more than 15%. At this point, you have many unfilled licensed nursing positions, and local recruitment efforts to fill these positions have been largely unsuccessful.
During a meeting with the CEO today, you are informed that the hospital is in 3 months. The CEO states that you must reduce turnover or increase recruitment efforts immediately, or the hospital will have to consider closing units or reducing available beds when the new ratios take effect.

The Relationship Between Internet Connectivity and Productivity in The Workplace

The Relationship Between Internet Connectivity and Productivity in The Workplace

How would you solve this problem?

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