In a speech at the British Psychology Conference in Liverpool he said UK productivity was the second lowest in the G7 group of nations (20% below the average and 40% below the USA) which he believed was due to our embracing technology “too enthusiastically”.
He thinks companies should shut down their servers to discourage employees from checking e-mails in the evening and at weekends and especially when on holiday – which he described as sick. (Some companies are already doing this in Germany).
He would like to ban in-house e-mails between members of staff in favour of face-2-face communication and thought c.c. e-mails a waste of time.
He thinks too may people are just showing up for work (“Presenteeism“) but not doing anything productive.
Research at the University of Sussex confirms that when when staff are given company smartphones they put in an extra day a week checking and responding to e-mails.
Experts say that there may be help round the corner from even newer technology such as Slack and Yammer which provide an open stream of communications not requiring you to open e-mails. (Is that really an improvement?)
However UK employees don’t have to wait long to be criticised in his view but they can wait a long time to get any praise for good work. And that could be a problem with younger workers who expect praise and good treatment at work.