Are employees trained by their tools?

We use information communications tools to ease the way we work. Over time, do these tools influence the way we work instead?

Most of us use infocomm tools to ease the way we work, but over time, do these tools influence the way we work instead?

In a recent conversation, two professionals quipped that their brains think in 6-minute or 15-minute blocks. They explained that because they charge clients by the hour, they tap software commonly used in their profession to clock their effort, organize the work done by the client, and for the client's project.

While the applications we use are not that intelligent yet, to ease most of the pain of managing the tedious parts of our work, we bear with the few constraints that come with the software as a tradeoff.

Interestingly, over time, these software tools seem to be training us to think and act their way. Rather, the developers of these products lead us to believe that their way is derived from the best practice for our industry. Is this always true? Will this continue? Do these situations occur only in organizations which can afford to buy these fancy software tools?

On the other hand, startups or smaller businesses which can only afford free or cheap basic software tools, and organizations which are more focused on saving costs will build on the fact that their tools are basic, use and even customize their tools to support the way they think and act to fulfil their work requirements.

Simple as all these may sound, it is worth pondering whether the lack of fancy software is really the cause of our work problems. Also worth thinking about is whether and how we can simplify the way we think and act so we can reduce or eliminate the need for fancy software.

I am not against implementing sophisticated software that are user-friendly and offer advanced features. I am just not fond of applications that have many more features than users ever need in their work lifetime, and do nothing more than inflict other useful software to work more slowly.