Technology is being used in almost every company to complete particular tasks. Technology has changed the way we work; it reduces human mistakes which can be caused by too much work or stress. Business technologies like computers, tablets, social media sites, virtual meeting software, accounting software, customer management applications, and so much more have removed workplace boundaries and they have also assisted in the movement of information at the workplace which accelerates quick decision making at the place of work.
Using technology in the workplace has its own pros and cons. Below I have detailed certain points and aspects explaining how technology can be of great use in the workplace and how it can also be an obstacle.
Advantages of Having Technology in the Workplace:
Workers can use different business technologies to create innovative business ideas which can be used in business growth and expansion. Many companies create technological challenges and reward employees who come up with creative ideas using technology. Employees can use internet technology to innovate ways of promoting a business online. Social enterprise networks like Yammer.com can be used by employees to socialize and interact with other creative employees from different organizations, this interaction will result into information exchange and it also encourages brain storming on various work related issues.
Many businesses are making use of several business communication technologies to alter the way their employees interact and communicate while at work. Employees can use many communication tools to interact or exchange information at work. For example, employees from different departments in a company can use text messaging services or video conferencing tools like Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Video Call to share and exchange information. Virtual communication tools like Skype can be used to share screens and this can help workers to split projects while in different departments, the same application can be used to aid group decision making. Also communication technologies can be used in the customer service department to serve customers on time.
The use of internet and computers to work has eliminated space and time boundaries. Workers can complete tasks from anywhere at any time, this mobility makes employees easily manage their jobs. Technological tools like virtual meeting applications save us time, we don’t have to be in meetings physically yet information and data will be shared in real-time.
Technology can be used to make various tasks at work a routine job, this automation will ensure efficiency and will also increase on production at work. The use of computers to achieve specific tasks at work creates the possibility of instant corrections and adaptations, it also reduces human errors. Using databases to capture and store information can facilitate quick decision making in the workplace. Business information is easily accessible through one single database; this information can be edited and saved for later use. Use of internal networks at the workplace can help in sharing of gadgets like printers and scanners, so employees do not have to move to different departments to share technological tools.
Disadvantages of Technology in the Workplace:
Employees communicate via cell phones, text messages, email or virtual video conferencing tools. This type of communication technology has obliterated face-to-face communication. Interpersonal communications are important in building workplace relationships because employees will get a chance to know each other in person, sometimes they can even share personal information, this type of interaction is killed by communication technology tools. Employees become more reserved and self-centered; they get buried into their work which can be of great harm to a business.
There are so many ways technology can divert employees’ attentions at work. The use of social networks in the workplace can cause so much distraction and it affects the productivity of workers. Some companies have decided to restrict access to specific websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, because of the continuous distraction they cause. Other business technologies which cause distraction at work include Smartphone’s, computers and virtual meeting applications like Skype.
Though we like the advantages that come with technology in the workplace, it also tends to be a risk, especially when it comes to data protection All employees in important decision making roles will need access to private business information; this can pose as a threat, because it can be very challenging to monitor the usage and privacy of this information. Many employees come with flash drives at work, so they can transfer critical business information and use it for their own personal gains.
Since most tasks are automated by technology, many employees become sluggish at work, technology kills their creativity, ideology and skills. Simple tasks like working out sales and tracking inventory are being done with computers, so you will find that employees do not put their brains to work, they can’t decipher high-end business problems because a computer or software will do it with no challenge.
It is expensive to buy technology, but it is also costly to maintain it. Many small businesses can not afford the cost of hiring a full-time technical person, so they resort to monthly technical repair contractors who charge them for work done. If business technology products like computers are not well maintained, their performance will decrease and the process of buying new computers or any other business technology can even be more extortionate.
So, all in all, there are many pros and cons of technology in the workplace and opinions on the use of technology will often differ, however it is the management of such technology in line with properly drafted processes, procedures and policies which will guarantee your business success and satisfy company employment law obligations.