Navigating the Productivity Paradox: How 2023 is Redefining Work


Unleashing the full potential of the coffee break: The 2023 Work Revolution.

In the State of Work report for 2023, Slack explored critical challenges for modern organizations: productivity, automation, and flexibility. Its survey of over 18,000 global desk workers unveiled outdated work methods, misalignment between employers and employees, and barriers to productivity.

Traditional definitions of productivity are proving problematic. Many workers associate “productivity” with excessive workloads and stress, often focusing on demonstrating effort rather than delivering results. The survey found that current productivity metrics emphasize input factors (time, resources) over output (goal achievement, revenue generation).

The landscape of work technology has evolved faster than its application. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation promise improved organizational efficiency, yet both remain underutilized. The survey indicates a significant gap between employee interest and organizational adoption of such innovations, posing a potential threat to slower-moving companies.

Flexibility in when you work matters

In the age of hybrid work, flexibility consistently ranks first for what desk workers want. While conversations on workplace flexibility often center on work location, more than half (52%) of desk workers say that a flexible work schedule is one of the best ways employers can support their productivity. 

– The State of Work Report, Slack

Flexibility in work schedules is a top priority for employees in the era of hybrid work. However, flexibility is not a carte blanche for employees to define their schedules and locations. Effective flexibility involves intentional policy-making, accounting for factors such as team synchronicity, task-specific requirements, and work setting.

Employee happiness and engagement emerged as significant contributors to productivity. Those reporting increased productivity post-pandemic are generally happier, more engaged, and see a clear alignment of their roles with the company’s mission.

Modern work is at a turning point, characterized by economic uncertainties, technological advancements, and evolving definitions of productivity. Leaders are learning from recent work experiments, embracing new technologies like generative AI, low-code/no-code automation, and productivity platforms, and redefining policies to reflect a more nuanced understanding of productivity.

The question for the copier industry is multi-pronged: how do we implement the new way of work, how can we advise our clients in the new way of work, AND how do we create sustainable revenue models based on more than copiers? Nothing new there.

Read more, here.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer