Learning to touch type can improve wellbeing & limit the likelihood of sickness or injury, by:
Non-touch-typists have more chance of suffering RSI (repetitive strain injury)
In the UK alone
Frequent breaks from the screen are not enough!
Healthy working behaviours are of course essential.
But if your typing is tense & cumbersome, then taking regular breaks & doing stretches simply alleviates the symptoms.
Touch typing addresses the cause of much of the tension and discomfort.
It takes more than ‘ergonomic’ equipment alone!
Workstation assessments usually advise having screens at eye height – but rarely suggest that touch typing is a logical ‘companion’ to this.
Non-touch-typists end up with an even worse ‘nodding dog’ neck problem since raising the screen increases the gap between it (at the right height) and the keys, which they still have to keep looking down at!
Touch-typists type ‘without thinking’! Or rather… the typing just ‘happens’ while they focus on:
– content & purpose: what & why they’re typing, and
– message & recipient: how well they’re communicating
Non-touch-typists often struggle; their thoughts are often interrupted by having to keep focusing on:
– the physical process: how they’re typing
It uses precious mental energy & cognitive control (and is thus very distracting) to consciously, or even semi-consciously, have to:
Duplication of Effort
Non-touch-typists often have to use precious time (staying late, taking work home?) to ‘type up’ notes they’ve previously written long hand because they couldn’t type them straight into the computer.
Errors ‘Creeping In’
Such transcribing takes extra time, but also divides attention and can lead to errors (not just spelling errors which can sometimes be trapped by software, but numerical or factual errors which, in a legal or medical context could be serious – even life-threatening)
Even if serious errors are spotted, minor ones are often ‘let through’, especially if the whole process has taken too long & there’s pressure to respond to clients, managers, or suppliers quickly. This can contribute to a shoddy, unprofessional image.
Quantifying the benefit of improved mental focus is hard, but grasping the implications is easy...
How much better is someone’s driving if they can watch the road ahead, identify potential hazards, plan alternative routes around road works, and even think about the meeting they’re driving to…
…rather than having to keep glancing down and considering how to turn the wheel, move the gear stick or which pedals to press!
Making mistakes is frustrating, and can damage your business image.
And fixing errors takes TIME (…and they say time is money!)
The higher accuracy that touch typing delivers can reduce stress and improve professionalism (fewer silly typos getting through!)
But it also means LESS TIME CORRECTING (backspacing on-the-fly, or proof-reading & correcting later)
So even before you think about typing faster, becoming a touch typist can save you time by helping you not make so many mistakes in the first place!
Accuracy is easily measured – but often misunderstood.
A non-touch-typist who types at around 70%-80% accuracy might consider that ‘reasonably good’.
But it’s NOT, really…! Because…
At “70% accuracy” – actually about 57% of your time is being wasted!
At “80% accuracy” – it’s still around 43% of your time that’s wasted!
It’s all about the difference between Accuracy and Efficiency.
ACCURACY measures how much
of the TEXT you want to type
you get “Right First Time”
But you don’t (usually) leave your mistakes uncorrected, do you?
So you must add in the extra time it takes to correct your wrong keystrokes. And it takes at least 3 times as long to make-a-mistake-and-then-fix-it as it would have taken to get it right first time (and that’s an optimistic calculation – see full explanation below)
EFFICIENCY acknowledges this,
and it measures how much
of the total TIME you spend typing/correcting
is spent being “Right First Time”
Non-touch-typists typically manage between 50% & 80% Accuracy
The table below shows how much more Efficient becoming more Accurate could make you…
|Your Accuracy||Your Efficiency|
NOTE: the efficiency calculations above are optimistic. They’re based on the assumption that every error is spotted and dealt with by immediately backspacing & retyping (correctly). This ignores the fact that:
As the other benefits described on this page show… it’s not all about speed.
But speed is clearly one of the most desirable & measurable deliverables of touch typing.
Touch typing can save people astonishing amounts of time (at work and in personal life) almost every day for the rest of their lives.
Just think what the extra time could be used for…!
This is where the benefits get hard-nosed, practical and quantifiable!
Most non-touch-typists plateau at a maximum speed of around 33-35 wpm
Touch typists very often reach average speeds of 40, 50 or 60 wpm (some even get to 70, 80 or beyond!)
Check the tables below – see what sort of savings you and your team could make.
|SAVE when you increase...||from 20 wpm...||from 30 wpm...||from 40 wpm...|
|...to 30wpm||11 days/yr||-||-|
|...to 40wpm||17 days/yr||9 days/yr||-|
|...to 50wpm||21 days/yr||14 days/yr||7 days/yr|
|...to 60wpm||23 days/yr||17 days/yr||11 days/yr|
|SAVE when you increase||from 20 wpm...||from 30 wpm...||from 40 wpm...|
|...to 30wpm||34 days/yr||-||-|
|...to 40wpm||51 days/yr||26 days/yr||-|
|...to 50wpm||62 days/yr||41 days/yr||21 days/yr|
|...to 60wpm||69 days/yr||51 days/yr||34 days/yr|
|SAVE when you increase...||from 20 wpm...||from 30 wpm...||from 40 wpm...|
|...to 30wpm||57 days/yr||-||-|
|...to 40wpm||86 days/yr||43 days/yr||-|
|...to 50wpm||103 days/yr||69 days/yr||34 days/yr|
|...to 60wpm||114 days/yr||86 days/yr||57 days/yr|
One of the hardest to measure (but most insidious) downsides of poor typing is the way it reinforces many people’s general lack of confidence with computers!
Being able to touch type can subtly – but significantly – improve people’s sense of calmness, competence & control when using computers.
The hesitancy, laboriousness, wincing & frustration that often accompany poor typing can exacerbate the frustration many already feel when using computers (struggling to understand & operate software; coping with technical issues like network problems).
That’s why poor typing skills can contribute significantly to workplace stress.
Such stress often leads to strained or snappy reactions to colleagues or clients, poor attention to the job, and low emotional resilience.
In addition, many non-touch-typists speak of unhelpful emotions like embarrassment, shame or envy of others when it comes to their typing.
Learning to touch type can help people feel they’re ‘gaining the upper hand’ a little over the technology!
When you can at least type information into your computer quickly, accurately and efficiently, then it can help you sit up straight psychologically (as well as physically) and feel more in control.
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