Instant gratification can be an amazing thing. Thanks to the Internet and mobile technology, we no longer have to wait to hear a new song, to read the news or find the answer to just about any question you may have. However, instant gratification also has a downside -- it might be ruining your productivity.
The need for instant gratification has entered the workplace, with workers needing recognition or a sense of accomplishment immediately after completing a task. While this may help the smaller, less time consuming tasks, it has many avoiding work on larger projects.
Robert Rabe was part of a research team for Design Thinking that found low productivity levels were linked to the need for instant gratification. He points out that people simply need instant gratification; this is unavoidable. The problem lies in projects that last weeks, months and even years. An employee can work on said projects for long periods of time without getting any recognition, but what they need during this time is to see some progress to feel they are accomplishing something.
"Everybody needs instant gratification. It is the challenge of a manager to design the work of employees in such a way they get their gratification from the things managers try to achieve," Rabe writes. "Usually, this will not be an abundance of e-mails or decks, but instead realized projects or increased turnover."