On the plus side, technology boosts productivity, simplifies operations and reduces workplace mistakes, which can often be caused by the stress of having too much work and not enough time to do it. Like too much of any good thing however, our increasing reliance upon technology from data management and communications to anticipating a problem before it occurs comes with some side effects. So how much does this good outweigh the bad and visa-versa? Below are some specific examples, underscoring why striking the right balance is key.
• Communication is improved. From e-mails, text messaging, Skype and other video conferencing tools, many companies are using technology to assist in the way their employees interact and communicate at work. In addition, various communications technologies can also be used to troubleshoot, guide decision making and greatly enhance the way a company provides services.
• Human resources becomes more resourceful. Not only does technology improve the hiring process when it comes to recruiting and screening prospective employees, it can also be used to track employee productivity, thereby incentivising them to do a better job and rewarding them if they do.
• Employees are more mobile. Thanks to laptops, tablets, smartphones and a vast array of other products, employees can work from anywhere at any time in a way that was never possible before. Not only does this enable them to stay on top of their jobs better, it also lets them do them in instances when being in the office isn’t possible.
• There are more opportunities for creativity and improvement. Using different business technologies alongside social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, workers now have opportunities to put innovation into practice as never before, also empowering them to come up with new ideas that can fuel a company’s growth when channeled properly. And by having so many technological advantages at their disposal, spreading the word about these innovations to the public at large has never been easier.
• We’re more efficient. From computers that make it possible to make the needed corrections on important documents instantaneously to shared databases that capture and store information and facilitate quick decision making, the use of various technology in the workplace can be a huge timesaver. It also prevents physical wear and tear, as well as the time it would otherwise take employees to do these same tasks, because they no longer have to move around from department to department to do them.
1. We’re distracted! There are so many ways that technology can distract employees at work that the examples are almost too numerous to mention. One of the biggest is the excessive personal use of social networks and video websites like Facebook and YouTube, which has increasingly prompted some companies to restrict access.
2. We’re less social. Because employees these days are increasingly doing so much of their communicating via text messages, smart phones, e-mail and other virtual tools, it oftentimes eliminates the need for face-to-face interaction. This mode of communication encourages employees to become more reserved and self-centered as they become increasingly immersed in digital communication.
There’s no question that technology is only going to become more essential in the workplace, especially as the technology itself continues to emerge. This is obviously a good thing and the benefits are virtually unlimited. While technology might be eliminating certain mundane jobs, technology enhances skills by leaving the creative aspects of every job in the hands and intellectual control of humans. If business owners are well-informed and take an active role in the implementation of the technology they deploy, while empowering their staff to be creative, they will avoid the pitfalls and enhance the benefits to both their employees and their organisations.
By Diya Obeid
Founder & CEO, JobDiva
Diya is a system developer, a recruiter, a leader, a speaker, an inventor, an adviser, a visionary, and a guiding force behind JobDiva. JobDiva's innovations have been expertly developed under Diya’s leadership. In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Diya is responsible for setting the business and technology strategy of the company. With more than 30 years of experience in technology and recruitment, Diya has been a change catalyst and a moving force in the recruitment industry. He is a system developer, a recruiter, a leader, a speaker, an inventor, an adviser, and a visionary.