How Technology Is Changing the Workplace: Benefits and Risks

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I am spending an evening with one of my close friends. We have left behind an eight hour work shift… and still we are continuing to work, remotely.

Technology Changing the Workplace

In saying this I begin to count all the ways that technology has reshaped the common workplace.  Remote work is on the rise. More and more companies and people are seeing the benefits of this opportunity. For employees this means not being tied to office desks, whereas for companies this means not having to supervise every task of every employee. The long and short is that both parties are using the latest technologies to profit in their very own best interests.

Remote work

Only sky’s the limit

Flexible schedules and a balanced relationship between work and personal life seem to be the future of work. Software like communication apps, voice and video chats and other online platforms make it possible and productive for everyone to work from anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection.

Thanks to globalization and technological innovation, a person from Kosovo, a Balkan country struggling to enjoy its new-found freedom of movement, can collaborate with Youth Time Magazine with its main office in Prague, Czech Republic.

In my previous articles, such as “The Technology of Black Mirror: a Tragic Reality?”, I have mainly focused on negative or side effects of rapid technological development on our lives. This time I am taking a positive approach. A glimpse at positivity never hurt anyone.

Technology has affected our workplaces, no matter how distant these workplaces may be in principle.

In addition to interaction with the global market, employees nowadays enjoy a better collaboration and a stronger, team-oriented work culture. Co-workers, employees and supervisors can literally connect anywhere, in any situation and at any given time. This has led to a whole new level of engagement, partnership, and probably most importantly – to a greater adaptability to work itself. Hereby, increased efficiency and collaboration are definitely among the ways technology has positively affected our workplaces, no matter how distant these workplaces may be in principle.

Moreover, it is hard to picture how today’s giant corporations or non-corporate organizations could have found their way to success without the element of competitiveness. This is yet another positive effect of the new technology. Witnessing how the workforce is being more globally engaged each day, both employees and employers are under constant pressure to improve and advance the traits and means required to achieve the desired results. For instance, the Information Technology (IT) sector, an occupation which according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, is largely outsourced. This means that a person from Croatia, one from India and a third one from Colorado can be competing for the same job. Individuals in this professional field usually earn more than the average income in their respective countries. In the prevailing circumstances, companies of every type are increasingly feeling the urge for innovation, creativity and hopefully better working conditions.

If work has not been done properly, it will be known far more quickly

Three positives all lead to a Faster Workflow. Making sure that a job is being properly conducted and measured in a timely manner has become ever so easy thanks to various software programs that monitor with great accuracy whether a task is being done and properly so. And if, nonetheless, the assignment is not completed as required, the fact that it has not been done properly will be known far more quickly and the chance of a timely intervention will increase significantly. Online searching, faster collaboration, and improvements in sharing information and knowledge in a spirit of teamwork are leading to a more qualitative, productive and faster workflow.

Worplace safety

An important element is workplace safety. As a direct result of advanced technology, almost all kinds of jobs have benefited from automation and technological advances that have made them less hazardous, regardless of the nature of the work. Particularly in high-risk workplaces, any improvements are highly appreciated by the workers as they make a huge difference in their well-being.

Technology acting as an amplifier

Technology is not only making employees work more and become more productive, it is furthermore acting as an amplifier for their voices as well: safety apps, real-time data, automated inspections, faster work flow, and procedures that prevent human errors before they occur are bringing about a real change in the statistics of work-related injuries.

While the end of the second decade of the 21st century is right around the corner, we may not be able to foresee all the new technological inventions awaiting us. Along these lines, embracing and making the best use out of current technologies in the workplace ought to be among our primary duties, and among the most powerful legacies that future generations can inherit from us.

Photos: Shutterstock

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