The majority of New Zealand businesses do not place enough emphasis on curiosity in the workplace, leading to a loss ‘technology potential’, such as greater technological innovation of products and services and technology application in the workplace.
In questioning 328 New Zealand white-collar workers, the Rackspace Curiosity Quotient claims that 42 percent of respondents that believed their organisation was curious.
Furthermore, 72 percent agreed that technology played an important role towards innovating new products and services but that number drops dramatically to just 39 percent in non-curious organisations.
Similarly, in curious organisations, 85 percent of respondents agreed that it is essential to be curious about technology and its application in the workplace, compared to 64 percent in non-curious organisations.
“Being curious about technology is extremely important in helping us to manage complexity and gain more knowledge to manage disruption,” says Angus Dorney, Director and General Manager, Rackspace A/NZ.
“But time away from technology is equally important too. The human touch is critical in supporting technology and what it can do.
“Technology can be a huge competitive advantage, but it is the people that piece it all together that make competitive advantage real.”
Dorney says that 63 percent of respondents agreed it was important to switch off from technology, ‘enabling periods of thinking and quiet’ time.
Yet only 26 per cent surveyed said their workplace encouraged time away from technology for day-to-day contemplation.
The story is different for smaller businesses, however. In those with a turnover of between $200k and $2 million, 60 percent surveyed were encouraged to take time away from technology, compared to just 34 percent in those businesses earning over $10 million.
Is a technology ‘underclass’ forming?
“As technology becomes front and centre of our lives and the businesses we work in, the interesting dichotomy is that while technology has made our lives easier, faster, cheaper and more productive, it is leaving some people behind,” Dorney adds.
Encouragingly, 63 percent of respondents claim they ‘used technology to stay ahead of developments that are making old skills obsolete.’
Meanwhile, forty-five per cent claimed that ‘jobs were becoming harder to come by due to increased levels of technology-driven job automation’.
“This highlights the need to be increasingly curious about technology and the skills it can provide,” Dorney adds.