• 03.14.13

Can Technology Make You More Engaged At Work?

While we’re used to thinking of the Internet as the portal to a procrastination shame spiral, new research suggests a positive relationship between technology and employee engagement.

Can Technology Make You More Engaged At Work?

Are you wasting time at the office right now? Trick question–Fast Company is actually a huge source of valuable information directly relevant to your job (right?). Especially this article, because I’m going to give you a few data points that show increased access to technology can actually be correlated with greater employee engagement.


Employee engagement is an x-factor that’s difficult to measure, yet it contributes strongly to the productivity and success of a company. A widely accepted model breaks engagement down into “vigor” (the energy you apply to the job), “dedication” (the seriousness and importance of the job and the way you identify with it), and “absorption” (time on task, flow, and attention paid).

Now, a paper published by researchers in the University of Tehran, Iran, surveyed employees of the local agriculture ministry on their use of technology and general attitudes to the job. They found a significant correlation between technology use and all three dimensions of engagement.

The authors suggest having more access to technology helps people do their work better and faster, which leads to greater pride, feelings of efficacy, and a stronger attachment to work. Learning to use new technology can improve employees’ sense of competence. And IT often allows for more independent, self-paced work, which can increase time on task.

Now get back to those spreadsheets!

[Image: Flickr user Mike Lietz]

About the author

She’s the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her next book, The Test, about standardized testing, will be published by Public Affairs in 2015.