November 29, 2017

What does going from a 10% to a 50% level of distraction signify for full-time employees’ real salaries?

Sir, Sarah O’Connor writes “Males in well-paid full-time employment, earning 2.5 times the median wage, are now working slightly longer hours on average than two decades ago, according to the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank.” “Robots will drive us to rethink the way we distribute work” November 29.

In Bank of England’s “bankunderground" blog we recently read: “With the rise of smartphones in particular, the amount of stimuli competing for our attention throughout the day has exploded... we are more distracted than ever as a result of the battle for our attention. One study, for example, finds that we are distracted nearly 50% of the time.”

So if 50% of the time is now spend being distracted, and since those not employed full time are not equally remunerated for distractions, that of “earning 2.5 times the median wage”, could de facto be a serious understatement.

Sir, just think about what going from for instance a 10% to a 50% distraction signifies to full time employees’ real salaries. Fabulous increases!

PS. And what is its impact on productivity in terms that less effective working time is being put into production?

PS. Or what would the real employment rate be if we deduct the hours engaged in distractions? A statistical nightmare? Will we ever be able to compare apples with apples again?

PS. And how should all these working hours consumed with distractions be considered in GDP figures?

PS. Robots will not only drive us to rethink the way we distribute work. It also forces us to think about how to create decent and worthy unemployments.