Posted: February 16th, 2022
A global conversation has begun. Social software has created a new perspective for communication, collaboration, cooperation, and connection between consumers and businesses and their employees. Companies can now profit from its advantages financially and by building a more straightforward relationship with their workers. The new technology advances have allowed two-way communication, and have integrated media such as instant messaging, email, chat rooms, wikis, and weblogs into the typical workplace. Not that long ago, information was stored in physical files and punch cards, only to now have that information at our fingertips at any given time. This may sound exciting, working at any time from anywhere, but everything has flaws. In the case of technology, the problem isn’t confined to new internet technologies but its misuse. This paper addresses the impact of user addiction, breach of privacy and security, lack of control, and leak of company secrets within large corporations.
The use of technology devices has revolutionized today’s work environment. It is now possible to access real-time data and updates remotely from the comfort of an office desk. The workplace has made many strides, and the adoption of technology has massively impacted our way of working. Moreover, it is easier to derive better meanings and conclusions from more advanced data analysis tools that are now available. The adoption of technology at the workplace has created a collaborative environment.
Some organizations as Hospitals and other related institutions, have sensitive information. The health sector has been on the front line on technology adoption. Technology has revolutionized the health sector, and now it is even possible to have your diagnosis virtually over the phone. Moreover, medical practitioners can now share information around the globe. Moreover, sharing patients’ confidential information is more manageable, especially within the same facility. Medical records can also be retrieved more efficiently and faster hence improvements in the quality of care delivered. However, Patient information is always at the risk of landing in the wrong hands (Stich, Tarafdar, & Cooper, (2018). Medical information and records are considered confidential, are protected by law. There are policies on handling such information, and there are always concerns about safety and access. Any impropriate handling of data can jeopardize the confidentiality of patients.
Businesses take precaution measures to ensure the safety of important information and documents. Still, reported security breaches have made businesses and organizations vulnerable in the competitive business world. Every company strives to outshine its competitors. Leaking of information about a business’s financial positions or new inventions, exposing such a business can face unfair competition, especially when competitors exploit the reported weaknesses. Moreover, organizations have sensitive information about their employees, such as family members, insurance policies, and health information which can be damaging when it lands in the wrong hands (Aguenza, Al-Kassem & Som, (2012). Employees are responsible for handling company information confidentiality and should always report any impropriate handling to the superiors immediately.
Automation and the implementation of technology devices have made it easier for both big corporations and small businesses to achieve their production goals. Advanced management tools have made business owners now self-dependent; Managers can monitor the progress of various projects from their palms with mobile phones and tablets. Employees are now more productive and can manage better because they no longer have to physically leave their desks to attend meetings and conferences. However, the adoption of technology has brought some challenges to the work environment.
Implementation of technology at places of work has led to the underdevelopment of interpersonal and communication skills. We need Interpersonal and communication skills in both social and work lives. Maintaining business and personal relationships is depended on our abilities to communicate and interact with others (Aguenza, Al-Kassem & Som, (2012). At our places of work, we no longer have face-to-face discussions and meetings. These were the traditional grounds of developing interpersonal skills. Moreover, we rely on social media and other messaging platforms to communicate with our colleagues. Technology has simplified our ways of communication but is limited.
Moreover, people have become over-depended on these channels, and some find it challenging to establish productive friendships and relationships outside the virtual world of social media. Interpersonal communication allows people to develop and nurture listening and attention skills (Griep et al., 2021). These skills do not play a significant role in the world of texting. Employees need personal development to have social growth outside career excellence. Moreover, face-to-face communication is more effective, and a short physical meeting can solve challenges and misunderstandings, which is not easy with messages.
The adoption of technology in the workplace is costly. Most of the devices used in the workplace are expensive to purchase and install, while others need periodic maintenance, which is also expensive. Some of the machines need the employees to undertake special training. Hours of production are wasted as well as financial resources. Moreover, the overall productivity of employees is hurt(Stich, Tarafdar, & Cooper, (2018). With every update, employees may struggle to learn new applications to meet new performance standards, impacting their morale. Businesses have to employ skilled personnel to operate sophisticated machines and get into a maintenance contract with qualified labor providers, significantly when a breakdown of the devices can alter the production of employees or an entire plant (Griep et al., 2021). All these costs impact the output of an organization as they put a dent in profit margins.
Businesses and organizations are always at the risk of getting hacked and important data stolen. Most technology devices installed in offices and other places of work come with security features from manufactures. At times, employers add more security to these systems by incorporating more security features that are more costly. Despite all these measures, there is a risk of information theft from hackers who get across firewalls. Dishonest employees who have security clearance can also steal such information hence putting a business at risk. The company has to rely on the ethics and credibility of its employees.
Privacy is a concern when monitoring employee activities. Businesses have to protect crucial data, especially research institutes, telecommunication companies, and medical centers. There is a challenge of invading the privacy of the employees in the process of protecting company information. Companies can safeguard information with passwords and only monitor work-related activities. This could be a challenge when employees use company resources to access their social media personal accounts (Griep et al., 2021). This challenge could be mitigated by having clear guidelines on the use of company resources. This would limit the cases of privacy issues raised by employees.
Mobile phones and other communication devices used in work are addictive. Sometimes, a person can spend hours on the internet communicating with friends and updating their personal lives. Employees can waste hours without noticing the impact of such activities on the organization’s overall productivity. In such cases, the company losses time and money. Mobile communication devices are part of our lives, but without self-control, one can get addicted and lose focus of the essential duties while focusing on non-issues (Stich, Tarafdar, & Cooper, 2018).
Overdependence of technological devices at the place of work has become a challenge. Most of the jobs in the office today rely on a technological device, be it planning for a meeting, writing letters, writing and generating invoices, communicating with clients, among others. Sometimes when there is no internet in the workplace, production in the office comes to a halt because of over-reliance on these devices (Griep et al., 2021). Technology makes our work more manageable, but we should be ready to continue when the devices we rely on fail.
Technology kills creativity and skills in the workplace. Automation of jobs has made the workplace more efficient, but the employees get used to the routine, and their creativity gets stagnant. Simple activities such as taking inventories and sales calculations are automated and done with the use of computers. Employees no longer engage their brains intensively. Consequently, some employees get lazy in the place or work. Employees do not solve complex business problems such as data analysis which are now solved by using computers (Aguenza, Al-Kassem & Som, (2012).
The adoption of technology at places of work has made work more accessible and more efficient. People now hold meetings and conferences when sited at their works stations or even at home. Sharing of information and files among employees is more straightforward with newly adopted cloud-based systems. Computers compute complex calculations and analyze data, and people no longer have to strain taking inventory or generating receipts and invoices manually. Managers and business owners can now track the progress of various projects using tablets and mobile phones.
However, technology has brought several challenges, such as overdependence of employees on these devices. Security of information is a concern to organizations, especially those in telecommunication, medicine, and research. Moreover, devices such as mobile phones are addictive and affect the overall productivity of an organization when employees are unable to meet their targets and deadlines. The implementation of communication technology in the workplace has resulted in the underdevelopment of interpersonal skills. Implementation of technology at the workplace is costly. Some equipment is expensive to purchase and install, while others need periodic updates. These costs add up to the productivity of an organization.
Organizations need to upgrade their systems periodically to improve security. Information technology systems are exposed to the risk of getting hacked and unauthorized people gaining access to confidential documents. Some of the devices we use at work require periodic updates, which the equipment manufacturer usually supplies. The updates are critical to ensure the devices are secure, although some of the updates could be expensive. Moreover, organizations can enforce policies to ensure information is accessed by authorized personnel. Employees can be issued with security clearances while also imputing other measures such as passwords to protect company accounts.
Organizations need policies on the use of personal communication devices during working hours. Some organizations have strict guidelines on mobile phones during working hours, especially for teams not concerned with information sharing. Mobile phones also disrupt workflow. It is impossible to control calls a person receives on their phone, either personal or for business. A person has to put aside whatever they are doing and accept the call, affecting employees’ productivity. Employees should spend limited time on phone calls, especially the ones unrelated to work.
Creativity drives the work environment, and organizations should ensure their employees remain creative and innovative even on the adoption of technology and automation. Employers expect employees to find a balance when using technology devices and find tailor-made solutions to various challenges. Different challenges arise within an organization daily, and employees have to remain creative enough to offer tailor-made solutions to each of the challenges. Organizations can ensure their employees stay creative and innovative by taking them through periodic training.
Organizations can overcome overdependence on technology devices by ensuring employees have alternative ways of performing their various jobs. Technology devices are in place to make our work experiences more effortless, but they cannot replace human resources in the workplace. Employees should be skillful enough to carry out their daily activities without overreliance on these devices when possible. Cashiers should be able to produce receipts manually once the electronic receipting systems fail to ensure continuous production.
Aguenza, B. B., Al-Kassem, A. H., & Som, A. P. M. (2012). Social media and productivity in the workplace: Challenges and constraints. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research in Business ISSN, 2046, 7141.
Griep, Y., Vranjes, I., van Hooff, M. M., Beckers, D. G., & Geurts, S. A. (2021). Technology in the Workplace: Opportunities and Challenges. Flexible Working Practices and Approaches, 93-116.
Stich, J. F., Tarafdar, M., & Cooper, C. L. (2018). Electronic communication in the workplace: boon or bane?. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance.
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